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Cohn, Steve : Iro Iro (Red Toucan)

Pianist Cohn brought this ensemble together to explore new sounds in improvised chamber ensembles, finding the right voices with Kevin Norton, Tomas Ulrich, and Masahiko Kono.
 

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product information:


UPC: 777078915344

Label: Red Toucan
Catalog ID: RT 9334
Squidco Product Code: 10056

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2008
Country: Canada
Packaging: Jewel Tray
Recorded January 31, 1999 at the Knitting Factory, NYC by Jon Rosenberg.


Personnel:

Steve Cohn-piano, shakuhachi, hichiriki, shofar, ektara, percussion

Masahiko Kono-trombone

Tomas Ulrich-cello

Kevin Norton-drums, vibes, percussion

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track listing:


1. Ohio 14:46

2. Konnichiwa 15:33

3. Kombawa 15:08

4. Oyasuminasai 9:37
Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Jazz
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
Quartet Recordings
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descriptions, reviews, &c.

"The Iro Iro band was formed during a period when I wished to bring some new ensembles together and used the Knitting Factory in New York to do it. I was currently still working with my chamber unit formed for the 1993 Miller Theater concert with Bass, french horn, violin and piano, shakuhachi, etc. I think my work with Thurman Barker was still in my mind. IÕve always loved the sound of vibes or marimba together with piano. But I was searching for new members. I became aware of Kevin Norton and checked him out at one of his gigs. I always reflect on the vibration of the person not just their music. Kevin had a nice spiritual side and I felt he would lend himself well to the shakuhachi and other ethnic and percussion instruments I use and also he played the orchestral percussion, drums and vibes like Thurman Barker.

The cello was exploring without bass and Kono had a Japanese simplicity to his playing and beautiful tone. His electronics were another avenue. Tomas had a good relationship with Kevin as they had also played many times together. Truly this ensemble in my opinion became magical almost immediately. The hichiriki and cello, the shakuhachi and trombone vibes cello. The playful exploring and the power of the blues and jazz feel.

Now add Jon Rosenberg, wonderful at live recording and two concerts of this music was beautifully captured. The Iro Iro band is an extension of my chamber quartet with very different colors and a whole new slew of personalities. I am very happy that Michel Passaretti showed such distinct interest in these recordings.

One more note about the name of this ensemble. Iro Iro is a Japanese word which means this and that or a variety of things, and the word Iro is the word for color."-Steve Cohn


Artist Biographies:

"Cellist-composer Tomas Ulrich received music degrees from Boston University and the Manhattan School of Music. After attending a performance by the great Soviet cellist Mstislav Rostropovich at the age of eight, Mr. Ulrich was inspired to begin his musical journey on the cello. In addition to the traditional classical repertoire, Mr. Ulrich's work clearly demonstrates the influence of such diverse artists as Frank Zappa, Jimi Hendrix, Neil Young, Miles Davis,Charles Mingus, Eric Dolphy, Dmitri Shostakovich and Olivier Messiaen. Mr. Ulrich has performed and recorded with such diverse artists as Anthony Davis, Joe Lovano, McCoy Tyner, Alice Coltrane, Anthony Braxton, Aretha Franklin, Derek Bailey, Ravi Coltrane, James Moody,Taylor Ho Bynum, Gerry Hemingway, Dom Minasi, Jason Kao Hwang, Dominic Duval, Ayman Fanous, Ben Allison, Ted Nash, Dave Douglas, Kevin James, Karl Berger, Hans Tammen, Coheed and Cambria, Natalie Merchant and Ivo Perelman. He is also a member of the Diller-Quaile String Quartet, which premiered his Quintet for Trumpet and Strings (featuring guest soloist Herb Robertson) in May of 1996. In 2006, Tomas began his recorded musical collaboration with the acclaimed German trombonist Christof Thewes with the release of Quartetto Pazzo "Melancholera" (with Rudi Mahall and Dirk Peter Kolsch). 2007 saw the release of Mr. Ulrich's first CD as a co-leader (Labryinths with Ayman Fanous on the Konnex label). In 2008, Mr. Ulrich released his first CD as a leader. Cargo Cult (with Rolf Sturm-electric and acoustic guitars and Michael Bisio-acoustic bass) released their first CD "If You Should Go" on the Cadence label to great critical acclaim. This ensemble has gone on to release three more CDs on the CIMP label (Tomas Ulrich's Cargo Cult (2009), Lonely House (Covers) (2010), Discovers (2011)). 2010 also saw the release of "Clear Horizons" on the German gligg record label with a new ensemble Tomas Ulrich's TransAtlantic Quartet (with Christof Thewes -trombone, Martin Schmiddi Schmidt-mandolin and Michael Griener-drums). JAZZ NOW has characterized him as "the total package ... incredible chops, great imagination and superb pitch. He fulfills the roles of bassist, guitarist, and additional horn player and is endlessly talented and creative". Jay Collins from Signal to Noise has written that "Tomas Ulrich is surely one of the most accomplished and intriguing cellists in improvised music, with a brilliant technical mastery and ability to play prickly improv, jazz, classical, film music or pretty much anything he desires." Tomas has written music for film, theater and instrumental performance and has concertized in Europe, Japan, South America and the United States. Mr Ulrich can be heard on over 100 CDs in a wide variety of musical styles and settings. Tomas has recently returned from a wonderful tour in Avignon with Bruno Bertrand percussion and Francois Grillot bass. These performances have been released as digital downloads by AMJI and are available on Itunes, Amazon, etc. . Tomas will be performing a solo cello recital in Saarbrucken on August 9th in addition to a series of concerts with Christof Thewes, Martin Schmidt, the Christof Thewes Little Big Band (Concerto for Cello, Mandolin and Big Band), Alexander Schlippenbach and Jan Roder."

-All About Jazz (https://musicians.allaboutjazz.com/tomasulrich)
12/8/2017

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

"Kevin Norton was born in Brooklyn and raised in Staten Island, NY. The composer/percussionist came to jazz in an unlikely setting but befriended drummer and fellow record collector Kenny Washington as a teenager. Studies at Hunter College introduced Kevin to Milt Hinton and after a short period, Kevin began to perform with Milt Hinton, eventually recording The Judge's Decision with a quartet led by Milt. Under Milt's encouragement, Kevin went back to school to get his Masters Degree from Manhattan School of Music.

After graduation he played every kind of gig available to a versatile percussionist: classical, jazz, blues, Dixieland, off-Broadway shows, rock, but especially taking part in the blossoming downtown New York City scene that strove to combine all these musics. This lead to him playing with Fred Frith's band Keep the Dog, which also included harpist Zeena Parkins and saxophonist John Zorn. Soon Mr. Norton was asked to play with a vast amount of downtown New York (sometimes called the Knitting Factory scene) ensembles. However, he longed to return to his jazz roots and began to play with downtown outsiders Phillip Johnston and Joel Forrester and their co-led band, the Microscopic Septet (and later Johnston's Big Trouble, with two CDs on Black Saint).

Still unsatisfied on a level of self-expression, Kevin began to devote himself to his own projects featuring his composition work and his improvising on total percussion (predominantly vibes and drums). Kevin has written several multi-movement pieces sometimes based on extra-musical subject matter. For Guy Debord (in nine events)is a piece for quintet and woodwind soloist (originally Anthony Braxton) based on the texts of the radical French philosopher whose thought proved central to the riots of Paris, 1968. Change Dance (Troubled Energy) draws it's inspiration from another radical political activist, Kathy Change (born Kathleen Chang). Both suites are approximately an hour in duration. On February 23, 2006 Kevin's Water and Fire Suite was premiered. It was commissioned as part of the national series of works from Meet The Composer Commissioning Music/USA, which is made possible by generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Helen F. Whitaker Fund, and the Target Foundation.

In less than 10 years he has led and/or co-led about 20 critically acclaimed recordings, many of them making year-end "Best of" lists. On one of the recent recordings, Time-Space Modulator integrates intricate, sophisticated composition work with the deep improvisatory skills of Kevin, Tony Malaby, Dave Ballou and John Lindberg.

Kevin has also played with many highly esteemed European Improvisers such as Paul Rogers, Jo‘lle Lˇandre, Paul Dunmall and Frode Gjerstad. Also, for about ten years, Mr. Norton was Anthony Braxton's main percussionist in both the "ghost trance" phase and the "standards" phase, plotting out the course for all percussionists who followed him. His most recent projects include compositions for various sized chamber groups and a duo with pianist Connie Crothers.

In June of 2002, Kevin Norton was a resident composer at the prestigious MacDowell Colony. He has served on the faculty of several schools including the University of Maryland and is currently on the faculty of William Paterson University."

-Kevin Norton website (http://www.kevinnorton.com/bio.html)
12/8/2017

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

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