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A lyrical outing from the Chicago working trio of Nick Mazzarella on alto saxophone, Matt Ulery on doublebass, and Jeremy Cunningham on drums, performing live at the Whistler in Chicago, Illinois in 2016, recorded for this debut album of Mazzarella compositions, flexible pieces that balance jazz traditions with avant options for the players.
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Label: Clean Feed
Catalog ID: CF422CD
Squidco Product Code: 24160
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded live at the Whistler in Chicago, Illinois, on January 12th and 26th, 2016, by Dave Zuchowski.
Nick Mazzarella-alto saxophone
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1. Rhododendron 5:32
2. Triangulum 6:47
3. Ringdown 8:10
4. Reminiscing 2:59
5. Witch Hazel 8:54
6. Solstice 63 7:26
7. Strange 6:52
8. Inflection Point 5:11
Chicago Jazz & Improvisation
Melodic and Lyrical Jazz
New in Improvised Music
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"Artists like Nick Mazzarella, Matt Ulery and Jeremy Cunningham, the members of Meridian Trio, are keeping the Chicago jazz scene alive and as strong as ever. All of them are highly demanded sidemen and also the leaders of their own projects, including the popular Nick Mazzarella Quintet, Matt Ulery's folkish, chamber jazz group Loom, and the ambient Jeremy Cunningham Quartet. But this triangular combo organized in 2014 by Mazzarella, the group's composer, is a vehicle for the three musicians to stretch their respective skills and develop new ideas.
All three have the capacity to move in many musical directions, and they do. "Triangulum" keeps links with the jazz tradition and goes to unknown territories, destroying all the remaining distinctions that some more distracted listeners (and players) still make between "mainstream" and "avant-garde". The music is very affirmative, but it's also flexible. It can get complex but always swings, and even if there's a triangular hierarchy, with Mazzarella's alto saxophone on the top and Ulery's double bass and Cunningham's drum set occupying the bottom, they all have strong personalities and the music reflects it. The references of open form jazz adopted by the band couldn't be more uplifting - Ornette Coleman's Golden Circle Trio and Henry Threadgill's Air. But take notice - though these models may serve as inspiration for Meridian Trio, listening to this record we quickly have the impression that new ground is being covered. Chicago has more to offer, and here it is."-Clean Feed
• Show Bio for Nick Mazzarella
"Saxophonist and composer Nick Mazzarella has been a consistent presence in Chicago's music scene since the early 2000s, and his regular performances there represent an aesthetically unique contribution to the city's rich jazz and improvised music culture. His working trio and quintet have served as the primary vehicles for his endeavors as a composer and leader, while as a collaborator or sideman he has performed and recorded with such artists as Tomeka Reid, Makaya McCraven, Hamid Drake, Joshua Abrams, and Rob Mazurek. He has released recordings as a leader on Nessa Records, Clean Feed Records, and the International Anthem Recording Company imprint, among others, and has performed throughout the United States and Scandinavia. Mazzarella also curates two concert series: the Anagram Series, presented weekly at Elastic Arts in Chicago, and the Ratchet Series, presented monthly at Cafe Mustache in Chicago."-Wikipedia (http://www.nickmazzarella.com/about/)
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• Show Bio for Matt Ulery
"Chicago based bassist/composer and bandleader, Matt Ulery, has developed an instantly recognizable sound. Known for his sweeping lyricism, unconventional phrase structures, expressionistic emotionalism, Ulery's music, from small, diverse chamber ensembles to full orchestras, is informed by the entire spectrum of jazz, classical, rock, pop, and folk- specifically American, South American, Balkan, and other European folk styles. He has been performing for 20 years on upright, electric, and brass basses.
For a decade, Ulery has been the leader of his own groups and frequent collaborator. Ulery has produced and released 7 critically acclaimed albums of all original music under his name including his most recent double album, "Festival," on his label, Woolgathering Records.
Ulery earned a Master of Music degree at Depaul University and Bachelors degree in music composition at The Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University and has played in bands with Kurt Rosenwinkel, Fareed Haque, Howard Levy, Patricia Barber, Goran Ivanovic, Jeff Parker, Zach Brock, Jimmy Chamberlin, Makaya McCraven, Marquis Hill and countless others. As a composer, Ulery has collaborated with ensembles such as Eighth Blackbird, New Millennium Orchestra of Chicago, Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra, and Wild Belle.
When not touring parts of the U.S. and Europe, Matt appears regularly in the Chicago area music venues and has performed with his own groups at prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall, Chicago Orchestra Hall, Millennium Park Pritzker Pavillion, Chicago Cultural Center, The Krannert Center, Jazz Showcase, The Metro and countless other fine music listening rooms. In addition to performing, recording, and writing, Ulery is on faculty at Loyola University Chicago and gives masterclasses and clinics nationwide."-Matt Ulery Website (https://www.mattulery.com/about/)
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• Show Bio for Jeremy Cunningham
"Jeremy Cunningham is a drummer, composer, and improviser. Originally from Cincinnati, he moved to Chicago in 2009, where he currently performs and composes as an integral part of the city's vibrant music scene. He holds a Bachelors of Music from the College Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, where he studied with professor John Von Ohlen, whose zen, loose approach toward drumming continues to inform Cunningham's technique today. Coltrane (and, by extension, Elvin Jones) is another huge influence; Cunningham cites an early introduction to "Live at Birdland" as a formative musical experience.
Since moving to Chicago, Cunningham has performed with an impressive roster of luminaries such as Von Freeman, Chris Foreman, Jeff Parker, Mike Allemana, Marquis Hill, Caroline Davis, Nick Mazzarella, and Dave Miller. He can be heard on Marquis Hill's albums "New Gospel" and "Sounds of the City," as well as Caroline Davis's "Live, Work, Play." In addition to performing in clubs and festivals throughout Chicago, Cunningham also appears throughout the United States with various projects. He's has toured internationally with IsWhat?!, the Moshier/Lebrun Collective, and Paul Giallorenzo's GitGo.
Most recently, Cunningham completed a Masters in Music from DePaul University, under the mentorship of Dana Hall, and has been working on Meridian Trio, a collaborative effort with Nick Mazzarella and Matt Ulery. He also released his first album as a bandleader, re: dawn (from far). The album, out on ears&eyes Records, was recorded with some of Cunningham's closest colleagues and mentors: Jeff Parker, Josh Johnson, and Ulery."-Jeremy Cunningham Website (http://jeremy-cunningham.com/bio/)
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