The Squid's Ear Magazine


Newsome, Sam / Max Johnson: Tubes (Unbroken Sounds)

A rollicking and unusual duo with a fair sense of humor and tremendous instrumental skill between saxophonist Sam Newsome (SoundNoiseFunk, Steve Swell) performing on soprano sax with horn preparations and toys, and double bassist Max Johnson, who composed six of the seven pieces on this compelling album, the seventh being an intriguing cover of Thelonious Monk's "Blue Monk".
 

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product information:

Personnel:



Sam Newsome-soprano saxophone, horn preparations, toys

Max Johnson-double bass


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UPC: 198026944191

Label: Unbroken Sounds
Catalog ID: U07
Squidco Product Code: 34559

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2024
Country: USA
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at Conveyor, on March 18th, 2023, by Jason Borisoff.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Tubes, a riotous investigation into the sonic by outlaw soprano saxophonist Sam Newsome and provocateur bassist Max Johnson, burps to life with "Dust" and proceeds assuredly down its own peculiar byways and highways. It is a real treat. The track closes with Newsome's prepared horn pondering like a bluesman on his lone, lonely harp. It is a real neat treat too.

That is pretty much the blueprint for Tubes. However, it is not as simple as that and it is certainly nothing to just scoff at. As Newsome (who previously played with Daniel Carter, Dave Liebman and Jean-Michel Pilc) blubbers, stutters, flutters, and yowls, he rings primordial, like a language we all know but some (most?) have forgotten. Or sold off. Or traded in for something more comfortable, more form fitting.

Johnson—whose bio includes Anthony Braxton, Mary Halvorson, Tyshawn Sorey and John Zorn—has an enervating tone to his playing. So its elliptical, arching counterpoint cuts the electric air with a frenzy of molecules ("Grizzly Bear") while it saws and riles. He ripples Newsome's calm surface and provides the undertow for the saxophonist's penetrating winces ("Helicopter Exit") and his spirited stroll through {{Thelonious Monk}'s personal favorite "Blue Monk." That a slippery form such as "Tubes and Keys" follows such a controlled moment is a study in logic which could take a lifetime to glean. But moments such as this come easy and often on Tubes."-Mike Jurkovic, All About Jazz


Get additional information at All About Jazz

Artist Biographies

"New York-based saxophonist and composer Sam Newsome works primarily in the medium of solo saxophone, an approach through which he gained world-wide critical acclaim with the release of his 2009 recording Blue Soliloquy: Solo Works for Soprano Saxophone, which received a five-star review in Downbeat magazine.

Many of the notes and sounds that comprise his compositions and improvisations are derived from his own personal sound palette of extended techniques: multi-phonics, flutter tonguing, percussive slap tonguing, soprano saxophone specific micro-tones, air sounds, key clicks, air hisses, acoustic sound manipulation, Tartini tones, and various forms of oral cavity manipulation. Newsome sees himself more along the lines of a visual artist who paints with notes and sounds rather than shapes and colors. "My music, " says Newsome, "is a type of improvisatory art music in which jazz functions more as a resource than a musical genre to be interpreted with stylistic specificity.

Even though Newsome's approach is unorthodox, it has proven to be very fruitful-musically and critically.

In 2017, he was nominated for the Herb Albert Award in the Arts; in 2016, he received the NYFA Artist's Fellowship for the Music/Sound category; the 2016 Jazz Journalist Association (JJA) selected him as a nominee for Soprano Saxophonist of the Year; and he placed #4 in the Soprano Saxophone category in the 64th Annual Downbeat Critics Poll--just behind Wayne Shorter and Dave Liebman.

Newsome has also released six critically acclaimed solo saxophone CDs including Sopranoville: Works for Prepared and Non-Prepared Saxophone (2017); The Straight Horn of Africa (2014); The Solo Concert: Sam Newsome Plays Monk and Ellington (2013); and The Art of the Soprano, Vol. 1 (2012). Jazz writer Ed Enright, from Downbeat Magazine, wrote that Mr. Newsome's The Straight Horn of Africa cd was "a modern masterpiece."

As a performer, Newsome is a frequent collaborator with drummer Andrew Cyrille, vocalist Fay Victor, saxophonist David Liebman, and pianist Ethan Iverson. He also plays in the bands of AfroHorn, and frequently performs solo saxophone concerts around New York and across the country.

Lastly, Newsome is an associate professor of music at the Brooklyn campus of Long Island University, where he is the music program coordinator, and teaches courses in jazz improvisation, music theory, and directs the University's jazz ensemble."

-Sam Newsome Website (http://somenewmusic.com/#c-4fK)
5/23/2024

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

"Max Johnson is a bassist, composer and bandleader based in New York City. Known for his big sound, eclectic style and prolific output, Johnson has made a name in both the jazz and improvised music world, playing with legendary luminaries Anthony Braxton, John Zorn, Muhal Richard Abrams, among others, in addition to becoming a first call bluegrass bassist, playing with legends Sam Bush, David Grisman, the Traveling McCourys & Tony Trischka. With 6 albums, and over fifteen hundred concerts under his belt, Johnson has proven to be an unparalleled force on the bass, and a unique, exhilarating voice as a composer.

Growing up in Hoboken, New Jersey, Johnson learned about music at an early age from his father, Glenn Johnson, drummer/composer of the band Leisure Class. At age 13, Max took up the electric bass, and after performing with local bands in Montclair, NJ, he joined the School of Rock in 2004, where he had the incredible opportunity to tour internationally and perform with Jon Anderson, John Wetton, the Butthole Surfers, Adrian Belew, Vernon Reid, Andrew W.K., Ronnie Spector, Jeff "Skunk" Baxter and a long list of others. Johnson then attended the New School for Jazz & Contemporary Music in 2008, where he studied bass with masters Henry Grimes, Mark Helias, Reggie Workman, Cameron Brown & Marji Danilow; and composition with Jane Ira Bloom, Tim Berne & Bill Kirchner. While studying there, he began performing professionally in New York City, building a name for himself as a bassist and bandleader in the improvised music world, and a first call bass player in the bluegrass scene. Johnson continued his education at Vermont College of Fine Arts, where he recieved his Master's degree in classical composition under Jonathan Bailey Holland, John Mallia and Roger Zahab.

Although young in age, Johnson has already crafted a unique sound and vision as an improviser, and is rich in experience, having performed with John Zorn, Anthony Braxton, Muhal Richard Abrams, Nels Cline, Candido Camero, Henry Grimes, William Parker, Butch Morris, Karl Berger, Bobby Sanabria, Sylvie Courvoisier, Erik Friedlander, Mary Halvorson, Joseph Jarman, Kenny Wollesen, Elliott Sharp, Angelica Sanchez, and many others. As a bassist with a non-stop touring schedule, Johnson has performed over one thousand concerts throughout North America and Europe, including top festivals and performing arts centers such as Lincoln Center, the United Nations, Lollapalooza, Quebec City Festival, Bern Jazz Festival, and many others. Max Johnson has been featured as a sideman on over twenty-five recordings, including the platinum-selling Night Castle by Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

An active bandleader, Max Johnson has six records to his name: Elevated Vegetation (FMR), The Invisible Trio & Something Familiar (Fresh Sound-New Talent), featuring Kirk Knuffke on cornet & Ziv Ravitz on drums; The Prisoner (NoBusiness) featuring Ingrid Laubrock, Mat Maneri & Tomas Fujiwara; and Quartet (NotTwo), with Mark Whitecage on alto saxophone and clarinet, Steve Swell on trombone, and Tyshawn Sorey on drums. Big Eyed Rabbit, his collaborative trio with Ross Martin and Jeff Davis, also released their debut album in 2014, Big Eyed Rabbit (NotTwo). His albums have been positively reviewed in the New York Times, NYC Jazz Record, JazzTimes, and other publications. El Intruso International Critic's Poll voted Max Johnson #1 Newcomer Musician in the 2012, and #2 Bassist and #4 Musician of the year in their 2014 poll."

-Max Johnson Website (http://www.maxjohnsonmusic.com/biography.html)
5/23/2024

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


Track Listing:



1. Dust 08:25

2. Strangled Duck 07:14

3. Grizzly Bear 06:39

4. Four Portraits 05:46

5. Blue Monk 06:18

6. Tubes And Keys 04:40

7. Helicopter Exit 07:10

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Jazz
Free Improvisation
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
Recordings by or featuring Reed & Wind Players
Stringed Instruments
Duo Recordings
New in Improvised Music
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