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Improvisers Aurora Josephson, Joelle Leandre, Damon Smith, & Martin Blume come together in a recording that is at times meditative, drone dominated & at other times a kaleidoscope of independent counterpoint.

Josephson, Aurora / Joelle Leandre / Damon Smith / Martin Blume

Josephson, Aurora / Joelle Leandre / Damon Smith / Martin Blume : Cruxes (Balance Point Acoustics)
Label: Balance Point Acoustics    
Released in: USA    

From Mark Dresser's liner notes: "The extraordinary French master musician, contrabassist, composer, improviser, singer, Joelle Leandre is one of primary champions of contemporary and improvised music in the world. A solo virtuoso performer of such grace, power, and bold presence that over the past thirty years notable composers such as John Cage, Giacinto Scelsi, Betsy Jolas, among others have composed pieces for her. However, her main activity has been in improvised music where she has distinguished herself as an innovative lyric, dynamic, powerhouse soloist and ensemble member. [...] Damon Smith, is a force; one of the most dedicated, committed and able young American improvisers of his generation. As a bass player he can hang with the best as was demonstrated in his duo CD with the great late, Peter Kowald as well as this recording. Smith has a scholarly knowledge of the innovations of improvised music over the last forty years and it is paying off. He is a developing into a master in his own right. [...] In this CD the two bass playing improvisers meet the gifted German drummer/percussionist, Martin Blume who has played and recorded with most of the major figures on the European improvisers circuit. Also the talented singer/improviser, Aurora Josephson, who has absorbed the vocal innovations of contemporary music literature, world music traditions, and is creating a very musical presence of her own. This CD is remarkable for it's at times gorgeous lyricism, power, and quick cut chattering exchanges. At times meditative, drone dominated, at other times a kaleidoscope of independent counterpoint. Enjoy."

"Damon Smith studied double bass with Lisle Ellis and has had lessons with Bertram Turezky, Joëlle Leandré, John Lindberg, Mark Dresser and others. Damon's explorations into the sonic palette of the double bass have resulted in a personal, flexible improvisational language based in the American jazz avant-garde movement and European non-idiomatic free improvisation. Visual art, film and dance heavily influence his music, as evidenced by his CAMH performance of Ben Patterson's Variations for Double Bass, collaborations with director Werner Herzog on soundtracks for Grizzly Man and Encounters at the End of the World, and an early performance with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company.

Damon has collaborated with a wide range of musicians, including: Cecil Taylor, Marshall Allen (of Sun Ra's Arkestra), Henry Kaiser, Roscoe Mitchell, Michael Pisaro, Wadada Leo Smith, Marco Eneidi, Wolfgang Fuchs, Peter Brötzmann and Peter Kowald. After many years in the San Francisco Bay Area, and five great years in Houston, Texas working regularly with Alvin Fielder, Sandy Ewen, David Dove & Chris Cogburn, Damon will move to the Boston area in the fall of 2016. Damon has run Balance Point Acoustics record label since 2001, releasing music focusing on transatlantic collaborations between US and European musicians."

-Balance Point Acoustic Website (

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
March 2006
Quartet Recordings

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Product Information:

Label: Balance Point Acoustics
Catalog ID: BPS010
Squidco Product Code: 5895

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2006
Country: USA
Packaging: Jewel Tray
Recorded by Scott R. Looney on October 18th, 2004 at the Berkley Art Center and on October 19th, 2004 at 1510 studios.


Aurora Josephson-voice

Joëlle Léandre-double bass

Damon Smith-double bass

Martin Blume-drums

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Track Listing:

1. Risen Like Venus From The Flatlands Of Brooklyn 3:41

2. Imaginary Paintings / Imaginary Frames 5:19

3. Siberia Of The Mind (jl/ds) 2:51

4. The Elusive Basilisk (aj/mb) 1:26

5. Scriabin The Derailer (aj/jl/ds) 4:33

6. Tanglefoot Flypaper 3:36

7. Napoleon's Favorite Wine (Gevrey-Chambertin) (aj/mb) 1:46

8. Praxis 4:09

9. De Papier Tue-Mouches 6:24

10. Une Soeur De Charite (aj/jl) 5:12

11. Tableaux Imaginaires / Cadres Imaginaires (jl/ds/mb) 7:28

12. Hodie Mihi, Cras Tibi! 19:38

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