The Squid's Ear Magazine


Fowler, Chad / George Cartwright / Christopher Parker / Kelley Hurt / Luke Stewart / Steve Hirsh / Z (Mahakala Music)

A septet bridging generations of improvisers from Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, DC, Minnesota, and NY, from Chad Fowler (sax & flute), George Cartwright (sax & guitar), Christopher Parker (piano), Kelley Hurt (voice), Luke Stewart (bass), Steve Hirsh (drums), and guest tenor saxophonist Zoh Amba, in four works reflecting our turbulent times, plus a tribute to Davey Williams.
 

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Personnel:



Chad Fowler-stritch, alto flute, baritone saxophone, bass flute

George Cartwright-alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, electric guitar

Christopher Parker-piano, voice

Kelley Hurt-voice

Luke Stewart-bass

Steve Hirsh-drum set

Zoh Amba-tenor saxophone, flute


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UPC: 195269252120

Label: Mahakala Music
Catalog ID: CD-MAHA-062
Squidco Product Code: 33816

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2023
Country: USA
Packaging: Digipack
Recorded at Fellowship Hall Sound, in Little Rock, Arkanas, on March 18tgh, 19th and 20th 2022, by Jason Weinheimer.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Recorded in Little Rock, AR by a geographically diverse set of American improvisers, this session brings together musicians with connections spanning decades, connecting musical communities from Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Washington DC, Minnesota, and New York. From 80s downtown music scene stalwart George Cartwright, who was an early mentor to Christopher and Chad to young, established bassist Luke Stewart.

The title and associated track, Miserere summons evokes both desperation and hope in a time rife with strife. Lord have mercy upon us indeed. Discover the masterful blend of blues, jazz, and soulful introspection in "Miserere," an album brought to life by the innovative Mahakala Music label. This remarkable recording features saxophonist and flautist Chad Fowler, saxophonist and guitarist George Cartwright of Curlew fame, pianist Christopher Parker, vocalist Kelley Hurt, bassist Luke Stewart, drummer Steve Hirsh, and a guest appearance by up and coming tenor player Zoh Amba.

Featuring an epic title composition by Fowler, a stunning tribute to the late great guitarist Davey Williams, a gospel hymn, and a Gregorian chant, this record is unlike anything you've heard. Created in Little Rock, Arkansas, "Miserere" bridges connections new and old, some spanning over three decades. This album presents a deep exploration of human vulnerability, grounded in southern gospel and jazz aesthetics. Special significance is placed on honoring the late guitarist Davey Williams, former member of Curlew, with Cartwright and Parker paying an emotionally resonant tribute to their longtime collaborator and friend. Step into the compelling world of "Miserere", where raw emotion, improvisational ingenuity, and blurred musical boundaries reign supreme."-Mahakala Music



This album has been reviewed on our magazine:

The Squid
The Squid's Ear!

Artist Biographies

"I'm Chad Fowler. I write books, write and play music, write software, lead organizations (currently for Microsoft, in Berlin), invest in startups, speak at conferences, teach, learn, organize conferences, etc.

I started and co-organized a couple of Ruby-related conferences including The International Ruby Conference and RailsConf."

-Chad Fowler Website (http://chadfowler.com/)
6/19/2024

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

"George Cartwright is a Minnesota-based composer, performer, bandleader, producer and musical collaborator, with a prolific career spanning over 30 years. His career began in his home state of Mississippi, shaped by a childhood woven through with early memories of singing in church and learning songs at his grandfather's knee. He grew up on rock-n-roll and fell in love with jazz after hearing Charles Lloyd's iconic "Forest Flower," and like the British bands that he listened to in high school, he was also heavily influenced by the blues being played literally in his own backyard of the Mississippi Delta.

Musical instrument exploration naturally followed, beginning with piano lessons and later guitar, learning to play by ear. During this phase, George began his initial foray into composing, writing lyrical pieces, as well as instrumental pieces in the manner of Mississippi John Hurt and John Fahey. He bought his first sax on his 2 birthday from a secondhand thrift store for $65-a gift from his grandmother. Irresistibly drawn to the beauty and passion of jazz saxophone - not to mention experiencing a musical epiphany after hearing Ornette Coleman's "Dancing in Your Head" - George began to purposefully channel his energy into composing.

Post-college, he studied at the Creative Music Studio in Woodstock, NY, where he was exposed to the music and concepts of Dave Holland, Anthony Braxton, Karl Berger, Frederic Rzewski, Kalaparusha, Ursula Oppens, Leo Smith, Oliver Lake, and many other major jazz innovators of the time.

The late 70's involved a move to New York City, where George formed a trio with Michael Lytle and David Moss, known as Meltable Snaps It, performing at such venues as The Kitchen, The Franklin Furnace, Phil Niblock's Experimental Intermedia Foundation, and Inroads. In 1979, he also formed his band Curlew with bassist Bill Laswell, which went on to record 12 CDs and LPs under the Cuneiform Records label, among others. The band included such notables as Tom Cora, Fred Frith, Wayne Horwitz, Davey Williams and Ann Rupel, and performed at high-profile jazz festivals and venues in North America and Europe.

In 1993, George returned to his Southern roots, relocating to Memphis, Tennessee. Over the next six years, he continued to collaborate with fellow musicians, compose, perform and produce recordings with Curlew. During this time, he also produced a solo CD 'The Memphis Years".

George moved to his current home base in the Twin Cities in 1999, where he found a tremendous wealth of like-minded musicians, with whom he continues to collaborate and record to this day. George has worked with a wide range of artists both domestically and abroad. In addition to composing, George continues to perform locally in the Twin Cities. Performances include The Cedar Cultural Center, numerous events at The Walker Art Center, Studio Z, The Black Dog. Jazz Central and others."

-George Cartwright Website (https://www.georgecartwright.com/george-cartwright-bio)
6/19/2024

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

"New York based pianist Chris Parker is a multifaceted performer and composer who has written for everything from small jazz groups and chamber ensembles to full symphony orchestra. With a long list of original works, he heads his own group that offers a diverse, lineup of Latin, funk and straight-ahead jazz. Contemporary jazz icons Randy Brecker, Bob Mintzer, Chris Vadala and Lyn Seaton have all performed with Parker's band.

Originally from Portland, Oregon, Parker started classical piano lessons at age nine. Eventually earning Bachelors and Masters degrees in music composition, Parker moved to New York where he has been Professor of Music and head of jazz studies at SUNY Orange. A New York Chancellor's Award winner, Parker engages and inspires students as he teaches them the skills they will need as future musicians.

His two CDs on the OA2 label, "Late in Lisbon" and the newly released "Full Circle" feature the unusual frontline of saxophone and violin. The albums are an exciting mix of Parker's original jazz compositions ranging in style from burning latin and straight ahead, to funky tunes and laid back ballads."

-Christopher Parker Website (https://www.chrisparkerjazz.com/bio)
6/19/2024

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

Kelley Hurt is an American jazz singer, known for the groups Dopolarians, George Cartwright/Chad Fowler/Steve Hirsh/Chris Parker, and The Music of Frank Lowe.

-Squidco 6/19/2024

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

"Luke has pursued a vast number of creative projects over the years. He plays bass and saxophone with DC-based indie rock band Laughing Man, who has performed at historic venues in the city including the Black Cat and St. Stephen's Church, opening for national acts such as The Evens, Wavves, Junkyard Band, and Wale. He has also played saxophone with his own experimental group Ziggurat, as well as various special collaborative performances throughout the East Coast.

As an electronic artist, he has been showcased in local exhibitions alongside legendary hip hop artist Grap Luva, and DC beatmaker Damu the Fudgemunk. He has also been a participant of Sonic Circuits' Festival of Experimental Music, performing on the same bill as cellist Okkyung Lee, as well as performing in other venues alongside instrument builder Layne Garrett and saxophonist Sam Hillmer (Diamond Terrifier). He is also a member of experimental electronic trio Mind Over Matter, Music Over Mind, which has participated in numerous festival performances, including Sonic Circuits' Festival and Noise Fest at George Mason University.

On the jazz side, Luke has performed at many of DC's historic venues including Bohemian Caverns, Twins Jazz, and HR-57. He had the honor of studying and performing with saxophonist Hamiett Bluiett. Recently he lead a 12-member ensemble in an hour-long tribute to John Coltrane on his birthday at the legendary Bohemian Caverns. He is also a member of Trio OOO, a collaborative ensemble featuring saxophonist Aaron Martin, and drummer Sam Lohman.

More recently he has helped establish CapitalBop.com, a DC-based jazz website and 501c3 non-profit organization, as its Avant Music Editor. Through the site, he has helped launch a live jazz performance series dubbed the "DC Jazz Loft", presenting some talented jazz artists in and around the DC area. He has also presented other jazz performances in his "Red Door Loft" series at the now-closed Goldleaf studios, as well as shows at CD Cellar in Arlington, VA, Bossa Bistro and Lounge, and DIY space the Paperhaus, where his performance curation was picked by Bob Boilen as one of the best shows of 2012.

He is also an Artist-In-Residence at the art space Union Arts and Manufacturing, in Washington, DC, where he regularly rehearses his numerous musical projects as well as hosts special performances and workshops.

During the day, he is the Production Coordinator for WPFW 89.3FM, as well as the host of THE VIBES edition of Overnight Jazz, weekly eclectic jazz program which showcases music from various sources in Luke's musical explorations. Through WPFW he has had the privilege of working with some seminal figures in music and social justice such as Chuck Brown, Yusef Lateef, Randy Weston, Muhal Richard Abrams, Juma Sultan, and Amiri Baraka. He has had the opportunity of producing many successful programs including a month-long commemoration of Black Music Month., featuring notably the reunion of trombonist Phil Ranelin and saxophonist Wendell Harrison from the Tribe organization of Detroit. He also co-produced a month-long tribute to pianist Horace Tapscott Los Angeles based community organization UGMAA (Union of God's Musicians and Artists Ascension). He also produced Washington, DC's first live radio appearance of political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal on the program Jazz and Justice with Tom Porter."

-Luke Stewart Website (https://lukethings.wordpress.com/about/)
6/19/2024

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

Steve Hirsh: "About Me

I come from a non-musical family. But every week growing up, I'd get my allowance and go to the local record store to pick up the latest hit. At 10 years old, I started guitar lessons at a neighborhood community center. I wanted to learn Beatles tunes but instead found myself learning classical guitar. I wasn't into it and stopped after a year. Then in junior high, I had a band/orchestra class. I started off playing alto sax. But in the summer after my first year, I got braces on my teeth and my orthodontist told my mother that playing a reed instrument would be bad for my overbite. So in my second year, I started on drums because I figured it would be the easiest instrument to catch up on. The bug bit me then, and I would spend hours playing along to records on my snare drum.

I went to a specialized public high school in New York City that focused on math and science. They had no music classes, except for a single music appreciation class that dealt entirely with European classical music. There was one Black girl in my class (!). One day she asked the teacher why he didn't teach anything about jazz and Miles Davis and John Coltrane. That was the first time I heard those names. The teacher said something dismissive and moved on.

Somewhere around there I got my first drum set and was trying to figure out how to play it. One day in the library, I was thumbing through the record collection and came across Kind of Blue and Blue Trane. I remembered hearing Miles' and Trane's names and took the records home. I was astounded by what I heard, particularly drummer Philly Joe Jones on Blue Trane. I had no idea what or how he was playing and could hardly believe that there was only 1 drummer.

Over the next 10 or so years, I dove deeper and deeper into the music. I worked forwards and backwards - Bitches Brew-era Miles, and late John Coltrane, and Max and Bird and then everyone in between, and then back to Basie and Ellington and Papa Jo Jones. I was playing in rock and blues bands and saw jazz drumming as beyond my abilities. After my 2nd year of college, I told my parents that I wanted to transfer to Berklee College of Music. But I had no one to help me navigate that change and I was unable to do it myself. Eventually, I just quit college, moved to California, and started playing in bands. I wound up hanging out and then working at Keystone Korner. I saw everyone there - Dexter Gordon, Max Roach, Art Blakey, Rhasaan Roland Kirk, Stan Getz, Mary Lou Williamson, the house band with George Cables and Eddie Marshal, Billy Higgins, Woody Shaw, Elvin Jones. And I started trying to play the music. But eventually, I quit playing for a variety of reasons, including the inability to believe I could really ever play it well and authentically, and the need to get away from the drug scene (this was San Francisco in the mid-'70s). But I never stopped listening, and eventually went back to playing in rock and blues bands.

I quit playing again in the early 80s but then picked it back up 20 years later when I bought my son a drum set. I bought it for him, then took it over (I sat down behind it to check it out and didn't come out for a week.). I've been playing steadily since then. I played a lot of straight-ahead jazz gigs, a lot of dinner jazz. But I always had a taste for the more outside sounds, and for the last few years, that's exclusively what I've been playing.

I have led several improvising ensembles in the last few years, and have played most of the Twin Cities venues that are open to this music, including Khyber Pass Cafe, The Icehouse, Jazz Central Studios, The Cedar Cultural Center, and Grand Oak Opry. I started a regular series at the East Side Freedom Library in St. Paul, featuring my groups and other improvising ensembles. I also hosted a weekly open session there, where anyone could come and gain experience improvising with experienced players.

I've played with (among others) William Parker, Joel Futterman, Eri Yamamoto, Matthew Shipp, Ivo Perelman, Luke Stewart, Douglas Ewart, Babatunde Lea, George Cartwright, Donald Washington, Chad Fowler, Zoh Amba, Brad Holden, Dick Studer, Josh Granowski, Matt Trice, Kavyesh Kaviraj, and DeVon Russell Grey.

In the past year, with the isolation of the pandemic and the near-total loss of performance opportunities, I have become involved in several remote collaborations, with both old and new friends. There are a few of those on the Recordings page, if you're curious.

My latest releases are Ebb & Flow, with Joel Futterman and Chad Fowler, Notice That There, with Geirge Cartwright, Chad Fowler, Christopher Parker and Kelley Hurt, Warp & Weft, a collaboration with the extraordinary pianist Joel Futterman, Two Five None, a duo with Chad Fowler, and You Know When It's Time by Original Mind, all on Mahakala Music https://mahakalamusic.bandcamp.com/. There's more stuff coming - follow me on Bandcamp, follow Mahakala Music, and send me a note asking to be added to my email list.

I endorse Canopus drums and Bosphorus cymbals. Beautiful instruments I'm lucky to play.

Born and raised in New York City, I now make my home in the woods of Northern Minnesota."

-Steve Hirsh Website (https://www.stevehirshdrums.com/steve-hirsh-drums-music-bio)
6/19/2024

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

"Zoh Amba is a saxophonist from Kingsport, Tennessee who since moving to New York in fall 2021 has quickly emerged into a notable presence in the avant garde scene. Zoh has spent considerable time studying with David Murray in New York, and also at the San Francisco Conservatory Of Music & New England Conservatory. The endorsement and collaboration with the creative music world's most notable sound painters means Zoh is poised to continue her ascent in New York and beyond. She has her debut record O, Sun releasing on Tzadik March 18th, 2022. With Micah Thomas, Thomas Morgan, and Joey Baron. Produced by John Zorn."

-All About Jazz (https://www.allaboutjazz.com/musicians/zoh-amba)
6/19/2024

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


Track Listing:



1. Miserere 14:51

2. Wonderful Words Of Life 19:58

3. Inhaling And Exhaling - For Davey Williams 16:17

4. Ut Queant Laxis 18:03

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Jazz
Free Improvisation
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
Septet recordings
Unusual Vocal Forms
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
New in Improvised Music

Search for other titles on the label:
Mahakala Music.


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