The Squid's Ear Magazine


Lumpert, Igor Innertextures (w/ Ward / Tordini / Grohowski / ...): I am the Spirit of the Earth (Clean Feed)

Brooklyn-based Slovenian saxophonist Igor Lumpert draws on his life experiences through eight original compositions and a Bosnian folk song performed with his core band of alto saxophonist Greg Ward, drummer Kenny Grohwoski and bassist Chris Tordini, expanded to a sextet and octet with stellar improvisers including trumpeter Peter Evans, guitarist Jeff Miles, &c.
 

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Personnel:



Igor Lumpert-tenor saxophone

Greg Ward-alto saxophone

Peter Evans-trumpet

Chris Tordini-double bass

Kenny Grohowski-drums

Jeff Miles-guitar

John Ellis-bass clarinet

Caleb Curtis-alto saxophone


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UPC: 5609063006124

Label: Clean Feed
Catalog ID: CF612
Squidco Product Code: 32670

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2022
Country: Portugal
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at Samurai Hotel Recording Studio, in New York, on November 19th, 2021, by David Stoller.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Seeking chances to learn and grow as an artist, Igor Lumpert moved from his home country Slovenia to New York in 2000. Since that time, he has studied with stellar teachers such as Chico Hamilton, Billy Harper, George Garzone, Joe Chambers, Reggie Workman, and Buster Williams. As Igor dove deeper into his instrument and the jazz idiom, those masters taught him the principles of being a bandleader.

Igor believes that "writing is crucial to developing every musician's original voice" and that "the strongest music comes from touring bands". Indeed, the core band on this new album - Greg Ward, Kenny Grohwoski, and Chris Tordini - has worked together for decades. Igor has known Kenny and Chris for more than twenty years, and Greg for more than a dozen. After tours of Europe and America and the release of the album Eleven in 2018, I Am the Spirit of the Earth emerges from a symbiosis of Igor's musical relationships and personal experiences.

This album reflects both Igor's Slovenian roots and Brooklyn journey. It is music with the power to break down barriers and prejudices. That conviction is heard from the very first notes of the title track.

As for his compositional process, Igor explains that "some pieces on this album started as short sketches that I recorded back home with an iPhone by the river. For example, Slovenian Fight Song is an homage to all the fighters who helped liberate Slovenia. This composition evokes memories of my grandfather telling stories of being a Yugoslav partisan in the Second World War".

As he attempted to capture and express such profound recollections, Igor realized that he needed a broader palette of sounds than a quartet could deliver. "I had been playing with guitarist Jeff Miles for some time, but only recently started jamming with Peter Evans. Those associations inspired the idea for this expanded ensemble".

I Am the Spirit of the Earth harmonizes the essential aspects of Igor's music and personality - his wisdom as a composer and bandleader, his pride in his Slovenian roots, and the impact of his decisions throughout life. And all of this is conveyed by a fantastic group of musicians who are very much aware of their leader's intentions and inclinations."-Clean Feed


Artist Biographies

"Igor Lumpert (born October 27, 1975 in Novo Mesto, SFR Yugoslavia) is a Slovene composer, jazz saxophonist.

Lumpert began his professional training at age 19 at the Bruckner Conservatory in Linz, Austria, where he studied with Doug Hammond and Harry Sokal. During this period, he was a member of Munich-based band Sidewinders, winner of the "Best Jazz Group of Germany" award. After completing his studies with honors, Lumpert was invited by one of the world's finest bassists, Reggie Workman, to study at the New School University in New York City. He received a scholarship and moved to New York in fall 2000.

Lumpert's music represents a unique fusion of jazz, funk, Eastern European rhythms, and modern neo-bop sketches. He has performed with jazz legends including Reggie Workman, John Abercrombie, Chico Hamilton, Sonny Simmons, Boris Kozlov, and Andy McKee.

Lumpert has performed at jazz festivals in Munich, Ljubljana, Novi Sad, Cankarjev Dom in Ljubljana at major jazz clubs in New York including the Jazz Standard, Cornelia Street Cafe, Supper Club, and Birdland and venues in Vienna, Munich, Linz, Zagreb, Belgrade, Sarajevo, Novi Sad, Athens, Crete, Venice, and Hungary."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Igor_Lumpert)
6/10/2024

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

"Greg Ward is a saxophonist and composer that was born in Peoria, IL. Currently based in Chicago, Ward has had the opportunity to perform and record with a varied group of artists like Prefuse 73, Lupe Fiasco, Tortoise, William Parker, Andrew D'Angelo, and Mike Reed.

In 2000, Ward began his studies at Northern Illinois University where he worked with Steve Duke, Fareed Haque, Ron Carter, and Joey Sellers. Already interested in composition, having the opportunity to compose for NIU's jazz combos deepened his understanding of the inner-workings of music. Also, working with composer and arranger, Joey Sellers, equipped Ward with some important tools to further explore this new love.

Around his sophomore year in college, Ward started spending many nights performing in the jazz clubs of Chicago. Soon, he would meet another one of his mentors, saxophonist, Fred Anderson, who would later select him to host a jam session at the Velvet Lounge for four years. During this time period, Ward experienced much growth as a performer and composer and developed a vibrant community of performers, artists, dancers, and listeners.

After graduating from NIU in 2004 with a degree in Jazz Studies/Saxophone Performance, Ward moved to Chicago and took advantage of every opportunity that was offered to him. Composing two pieces for the International Contemporary Ensemble, performing a quartet composition for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's Chamber Music Series, composing Wings for the Peoria Ballet Company, and being commissioned by the Jazz Institute of Chicago for a new composition, which was performed at the Chicago Jazz Festival in 2009, are just a few of the many experiences that shaped Ward during his years in Chicago.

In 2009, Ward decided to move to New York City. Almost immediately after he arrived in NYC, he began working with JazzReach, an NYC-based jazz education organization that shares multi-media programs throughout the US. In 2010, he would produce his first CD as a leader with his Chicago-based band, Fitted Shards. South Side Story received much critical acclaim, including "Recording of the Year" by the Chicago Tribune. Next, in 2011, Ward formed Phonic Juggernaut, which features Damion Reid on drums and Joe Sanders on bass. Together, they recorded and released a CD on Thirsty Ear Recordings that same year. Also, in 2011, Ward composed and performed a commission from the Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra for a concerto for jazz quartet and string orchestra. In 2012, Ward was selected as one of the two New Music USA Van Lier Fellows. In 2014, he received a commission/residency from the Jazz Gallery and premiered Capturing Sunlight, which was an hour-long work for septet and included a short documentary by Diana Quinones Rivera. The Capturing Sunlight project was inspired by the life and work of Preston Jackson.

Recently, Ward has collaborated with another composer, sound designer, and performer, Caleb Willitz. First, they composed the film score for Beresford Bennett's film, Pinch, which was an official selection of the 2015 San Diego Black Film Festival. Second, Ward and Willitz will be releasing an electro-acoustic project, Gaps and Spaces: Synoptic Optiks."

-Greg Ward Website (http://www.gregwardmusic.us/about/)
6/10/2024

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

"Peter Evans is a trumpet player, and improvisor/composer based in New York City since 2003. Evans is part of a broad, hybridized scene of musical experimentation and his work cuts across a wide range of modern musical practices and traditions. Peter is committed to the simultaneously self-determining and collaborative nature of musical improvisation as a compositional tool, and works with an ever-expanding group of musicians and composers in the creation of new music. His primary groups as a leader are the Peter Evans Quintet and the Zebulon trio. In addition, Evans has been performing and recording solo trumpet music since 2002 and is widely recognized as a leading voice in the field, having released several recordings over the past decade. He is a member of the cooperative groups Pulverize the Sound (with Mike Pride and Tim Dahl) and Rocket Science (with Evan Parker, Craig Taborn and Sam Pluta) and is constantly experimenting and forming new configurations with like minded players. As a composer, he has been commissioned by the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Yarn/Wire, the Donaueschingen Musiktage Festival, the Jerome Foundation's Emerging Artist Program, and the Doris Duke Foundation for the 2015 Newport Jazz Festival. Evans has presented and/or performed his works at major festivals worldwide and tours his own groups extensively. He has worked with some of the leading figures in new music: John Zorn, Kassa Overall, Jim Black, Weasel Walter, Levy Lorenzo, Nate Wooley, Steve Schick, Mary Halvorson, Joe McPhee, George Lewis, and performs with both ICE and the Wet Ink Ensemble. He has been releasing recordings on his own label, More is More, since 2011."

-Peter Evans Website (http://pevans.squarespace.com/about/)
6/10/2024

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

"Christopher Tordini is an in-demand bassist on the New York City music scene, where he performs with established jazz icons as well as a diverse range of emerging musicians. He has toured and recorded with Andy Milne's Dapp Theory for over 5 years, and has also played in bands led by other renowned artists such as Greg Osby and Jeremy Pelt. Tordini plays often with drummer Ari Hoenig, with the Becca Stevens Band, and is a key collaborator in projects led by drummer/composer Tyshawn Sorey and trombonist/composer Michael Dessen. A graduate of the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, Tordini forged strong professional relationships with several faculty members there, including Rory Stuart and George Garzone, with whom he continues to collaborate. Recently, Tordini has performed and recorded with prominent bandleaders such as Steve Lehman, Okkyung Lee, Tigran Hamasyan, Jo-Yu Chen, Mike Pinto, Andrew D'Angelo, Jim Black, and Yaron Herman. He has played at New York City's most prestigious jazz venues, including the Blue Note, the Village Vanguard, the Iridium, the Jazz Standard, Smalls, the Jazz Gallery and the Stone, among many others."

-Home Gift of Music (http://www.homegiftofmusic.com/christopher-tordini/)
6/10/2024

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

"Brought up in a musical household in Miami, 29-year-old drummer, Kenny Grohowski has been performing since the age of 14. His rich musical background is demonstrated through the growing list of his collaborators and guest artists, including Vernon Reid, Corey Unger (of Blood Has Been Shed), Emeline Michel, Peter Cincotti, Jorge Sylvester, Bobby Sanabria, Bill T. Jones, Rory Stuart, Cassandra Wilson, Richie Ray & Bobby Cruz, Giovanni Hidalgo, John Benitez, Francis Mbappe, Domingo Quinones, and Bobby Valentin.

Grohowski has been a member of bassist Lonnie Plaxico's band since 2003, and a member of Andy Milne's Dapp Theory since 2006, having come back from a successful US/Canada tour with Dapp Theory, with Highlight shows in Vancouver opening for Jazz and Bass legend, Stanley Clarke, and performed in the 2007 Latin Grammy Awards Live from Madison Square Garden with the award winning group RBD. He has appeared on several recordings, including Plaxico's hit "So Alive" [Sony, Japan]. As of 2009, Grohowski has become a new member of acclaimed Haitian singer/cultural figure Emeline Michel's Accoustic Quintet, and has also performed at the Museum of Modern Art with the Ze Luis Quartet as part of their Live Art performances. Grohowski has also toured across the United States, South America, and Europe, as well as in Australia and China with New Classical Composer Daniel Bernard Roumain (a.k.a. DBR). Kenny has also performed regularly with acclaimed bassist Felix Pastorius and his group since 2010, performing regularly at such New York City venues as Zinc Bar and The 55 Bar. Recently, Grohowski has written and recorded for Grammy Award winning Producer and Arranger Victor "Papo" Ortiz on the album "Eres Santo".

When not working with his various affiliated ensembles, Grohowski enjoys a steady and fast paced Free lancing schedule, working with many of New York City's top Jazz, Rock, and Brazilian artists, as well as a multitude of others, and has recorded on over 40 albums. [...]"

-Kenny Grohowski Website (http://kennygrohowski.com/about/)
6/10/2024

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

"An American guitarist, composer and producer from San Diego, California, Jeff Miles is a Berklee College of Music alum and the winner of the 2008 Montreux Jazz Guitar competition. Featured on numerous recordings, Jeff is sought after for his orchestral pallet of sounds and blistering, evocative improvisations. He has performed around the world in venues such as The Monterrey Jazz Festival, Montreux Jazz Festival, Las Condes Jazz Festival, Saulkrasti Jazz Festival, Blues Alley, Bar Next Door, 55 Bar and Smalls Jazz Club. He currently resides in Brooklyn, New York."

-Jeff Miles Website (https://www.jeffmilesmusic.com/)
6/10/2024

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

"If that Dickens chap hadn't already snagged it, "A Tale of Two Cities" would make the ideal title for the John Ellis story. The gifted, versatile saxophonist/clarinetist/composer occupies an imaginary (and extremely imaginative) space directly between the celebratory, welcoming spirit of New Orleans and the edgy, frantic streets of New York City. Both as the leader of his own eclectic projects and as an in-demand sideman for a mind-boggling number and variety of artists, Ellis expresses a keen intellect and easy virtuosity while maintaining a mischievous gleam in his eye and never letting tongue stray far from cheek.

That combination is best showcased in Ellis' eccentric combo Double-Wide, which recently released its third album, Charm, on Ellis' own Parade Light Records. While the title is an apt descriptor of the band's inviting, joyous vibe, its soul is even better captured by the song that gives the album its name: "Charm is Nearly Always Sinister." That dichotomy perfectly encapsulates Double-Wide's split metropolitan personality, with a chainsaw-juggling balance of bayou brass, raucous gospel, and devil-may-care modern jazz. Ellis' band of merry pranksters includes Gary Versace (organ/piano/accordion), Alan Ferber (trombone), Matt Perrine (sousaphone), and Jason Marsalis (drums).

Ellis also leads his own quintet of A-list players, whose most recent album was the 2012 Criss Cross release It's You I Like. Featuring Mike Moreno (guitar), Aaron Goldberg (piano), Matt Penman (bass), and Rodney Green (drums), the album definitely leans more toward the NYC end of Ellis' playing spectrum, though its two dedicatees still show off his "serious fun" duality: the repertoire includes songs by moody singer-songwriter Elliott Smith and legendary kids' TV host Mr. Rogers.

An ambitious composer as well as an agile musician, Ellis in recent years has composed three large-scale narrative pieces commissioned by The Jazz Gallery in collaboration with playwright Andy Bragen. The most recent, MOBRO (released in 2014 on Parade Light), looks at environmental issues through the story of the infamous MOBRO 4000 trash barge.

As if those three wide-ranging projects weren't enough to occupy his time and talents, Ellis also maintains an impossibly busy schedule as a first-call sideman. Having established himself as one of New York's premier tenor saxophonists since his arrival in 1997, he's since worked with artists as diverse as bass great John Patitucci, organ legend Dr. Lonnie Smith, MacArthur Fellow Miguel Zenón, the Brooklyn-bred big band led by composer Darcy James Argue, guitar groove master Charlie Hunter, and pop icon Sting. His discography lists more than 100 album credits as a sideman, with more than a dozen released in 2014 alone, including acclaimed albums by Zenón, drummer Otis Brown III, pianists Helen Sung and Edward Simon, and blues/gospel/soul trio The Holmes Brothers.

While New Orleans and New York are Ellis' two spiritual (and, over the last 22 years, actual) homes, he doesn't hail from either city - or any city at all, for that matter. He grew up in rural North Carolina, two and a half miles outside of a tiny town populated by only 200 people. But his mother, an English teacher at the local community college, insisted that her sons be exposed to culture, and the love of music took hold in young John, who pursued that love to the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in the relatively big city of Winston-Salem.

In 1993, Ellis moved to New Orleans to study with renowned jazz family patriarch Ellis Marsalis, eventually playing in the pianist's band while jamming with local peers like trumpeter Nicholas Payton. He released his debut album, The Language of Love, in 1996 and a year later relocated to New York City. Despite the move, the name of his 2005 album One Foot in the Swamp captures his continuing ties to the Bayou, which shines through in the southern-accented, gospel-tinged funk grooves of his music. Ellis has released nine albums as a leader, three of those featuring his urban carnival band Double-Wide, which has toured extensively and was featured on the Main Stage of the 2012 Newport Jazz Festival.

While his presence on countless recordings and stages attests to the esteem in which Ellis is held by his peers, he's also received numerous more official accolades. Most prominently, he was the second place winner of the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Saxophone Competition in 2002. He was the recipient of three composition grants through The Jazz Gallery for his collaborations with playwright Andy Bragen ("Dreamscapes", "The Ice Siren", and "MOBRO") and was selected as the 2014 Make Jazz Fellow by the 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica, leading to the composition of music for Charm."

-John Ellis Website (http://www.johnaxsonellis.com/bio/)
6/10/2024

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

"Brooklyn, NY based saxophonist and multi instrumentalist Caleb Wheeler Curtis "lives at the junction of rigorous preparation and willingness to explore." (Jazz Speaks) He appears on two GRAMMY Nominated albums by Orrin Evans and the Captain Black Big Band. His playing and compositions are informed by a constant searching, at times introspective, brash and melodic. In addition to band-leading, Caleb is a core member of Walking Distance (Sunnyside Records), Orrin Evans & The Captain Black Big Band (Smoke Sessions Records), Josh Lawrence & Triptych (Posi-Tone Records), Ember (Curtis+Garabedian+Sperrazza) (Sunnyside Records), and the Fat Cat Big Band. His latest album, HEATMAP, was released in 2022, and features Orrin Evans, Eric Revis and Gerald Cleaver. Caleb is a 2021 MacDowell Fellow and records for Imani Records.

Legendary pianist Mulgrew Miller said "Caleb has a wonderful, singing, projecting sound. To me, that's the ultimate for a horn player." His album Brothers (produced by Orrin Evans and featuring Josh Lawrence, Eric Revis, Luques Curtis, Mark Whitfield Jr. and Seamus Blake) was released in 2018 on Imani Records. All About Jazz said the music was "sharp-witted, bracing, and, at times, wonderfully brash." Neighborhood (Ropeadope Records), the 2015 debut album from the Brooklyn based collective quartet Walking Distance, for which Caleb composes and plays alto saxophone, was met with critical acclaim. Their new album Freebird feat. Jason Moran (Sunnyside Records) has been widely praised by The New York Times, DownBeat Magazine, Bandcamp (best of September 2018), JazzTimes and others. The New York Times wrote that "[Walking Distance] tears into the new stuff it has created, sounding ageless", that the music is "utterly fresh", and selected it as one of the 20 best jazz recordings of 2018.

Caleb holds a Bachelor's of Music (Jazz Studies) from Michigan State University, and a Master's in Music (Jazz Performance) from William Paterson University. Caleb frequently travels for international performances and also performs regularly at the Blue Note, Jazz Standard, Smalls, Smoke, Zinc Bar, Dizzy's and other NYC clubs. Caleb's individualistic approach to improvisation and sound has led to being hailed as "one of the most interesting altoists in a long time."(Jazzwise)

In addition, Caleb has played with many extraordinary musicians including Orrin Evans, Gerald Cleaver, Jason Moran, Mulgrew Miller, Duane Eubanks, Eric Revis, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Kevin Eubanks, Buster Williams, Gene Jackson, Kevin Hays, Saul Rubin, David Gibson, Lafayette Harris, Sarah Elizabeth Charles, Gregorio Uribe, Ben Wolfe, Luques Curtis, Seamus Blake, Marta Sánchez, Stacy Dillard, EJ Strickland, Matt Clohesy, Vinnie Sperrazza, Jeremy Siskind and many others."

-Caleb Curtis Website (https://www.calebcurtis.com/about)
6/10/2024

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


Track Listing:



1. Roots 7:32

2. Slovenian Fight Song, Pt. 1 11:24

3. Slovenian Fight Song, Pt. 2 4:16

4. Looking For Your Own Sky 3:47

5. I Am The Spirit Of The Earth 4:22

6. Capljinski Tatari 2:23

7. Zoo Fog 7:40

8. Rimbaud-Igor Lumpert's Innertextures-I Am The Spirit Of The Earth 7:28

9. East Block Party 5:07

Related Categories of Interest:


Clean Feed
Improvised Music
Jazz
Free Improvisation
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
Quartet Recordings
Septet recordings
Octet Recordings
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New in Improvised Music
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Jazz & Improvisation Based on Compositions

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(Intakt)
The 3rd Intakt release from NY multi-reedist and composer Chris Speed's Trio with bassist Chris Toridini and drummer Dave King, who is also a part of Speed's other working band The Bad Plus, this new album presenting eight original Speed compositions that, as Speed explains, get to the point of featuring the song, the sophisticated melodies around which this excellent trio pivot.
Stemeseder, Elias / Christian Lillinger (+ Peter Evans / Russell Hall / DoYeon Kim / Brandon Seabrook)
Umbra
(Intakt)
The other shaded region to their 2022 Penumbra album, keyboardist Stemeseder and drummer Christian Lillinger explore "utopias in sound production" through acoustic and electronic composition, creating evolving melodies and sonic tapestries in performance with Peter Evans on Piccolo trumpet, Russell Hall on bass, DoYeon Kim on Gayageum and Brandon Seabrook on banjo & guitar.
Royston, Rudy
Day
(Greenleaf Music)
The second album from drummer Rudy Royston's chamber-like ensemble Flatbed Buggy, featuring John Ellis on woodwinds, Gary Versace on accordion, Hank Roberts on cello, and Joe Martin on bass, in a concept album of the typical ups and downs, joys and sadness, gratitude and dreads a typical day would bring, ultimately culminating in a celebration of life and healing.
Liebman, Dave (w/ Peter Evans / Leo Genovese / John Hebert / Tyshawn Sorey)
Lost In Time, Live At Smalls
(Cellar Live)
Part of the SmallsLIVE Living Masters series, masterful saxophonist Dave Liebman leads the stellar quintet of Peter Evans on trumpet, Leo Genovese on piano, John Hebert on bass & Tyshawn Sorey on drums through three Liebman compositions titled for their ordinal position, relaunching a highly focused Liebman post-pandemic with this stunning live concert at Smalls Jazz Club.



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