Postmodern jazz, or what Noonan calls "wandering folk music", drawing from traditions as disparate as West African griots, Southern blues, and the Downtown improv scene.
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Catalog ID: SGL 1573
Squidco Product Code: 10832
Recorded at Brooklyn Recording by Andy Taub December 10-11, 2007, January 3, 2008 & February 6, 2008
Sean Noonan-electro-acoustic drum set, percussion, compositions
Marc Ribot-electric guitar
Aram Bajakian-electric guitar, Max MSP
Jamaaladeen Tacuma-electric bass
Abdoulaye Diabate-vocals, conga
Thierno Camara-electric bass, vocals
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1. Boxing Dreams (featuring Marc Ribot) 3:30
2. Courage (feat. Susan McKeown) 5:41
3. Morpheus 6:28
4. Crazy Legs (feat. Adboulaye Diabaté) 9:47
5. The Return of the Peanut Butter Queen (feat. Susan McKeown) 2:31
6. Mayrose (feat. Mat Maneri) 3:21
7. Big Mouth (feat. Susan McKeown) 7:39
8. Look (feat. Abdoulaye Diabaté) 7:12
9. Story of Jones (feat. Marc Ribot) 9:18
10. Over-n-Out (feat. Marc Ribot) 10:21
11. Lost in Günter's Wald (feat. Marc Ribot) 5:10
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
sample the album:
"Since the release of his previous Songlines record Stories to Tell in early 2007, Sean Noonan has been busy stirring up the ingredients of his unique "wandering folk music" project, and here's the new brew. Grandiose, intoxicating, and sui generis, Boxing Dreams is a wildly ambitious and idiosyncratic concept album that blends passionate vocals and time-honored lyrics from Ireland, Mali and Senegal, raw power-jamming jazz/rock guitars, shape-shifting improv viola, dense soundscapes, funked or punked up drum and bass grooves and complex, dancing polyrhythms. The musical stories Noonan tells are as diverse as ever, but the overriding metaphor of the record's title suggests how he wrestled its elements and his own restless subconscious into a personal artistic vision:
"The main effect I wanted in Boxing Dreams was to give the impression that the entire album is a single boxed dream, where each song captures a different dreamed or imagined story. 'Morpheus' in some ways sets the dreamy mood of the album. Morpheus is the god of dreams, who assumes any shape and form, and on this song Susan McKeown sings from an Irish Gaelic aisling or dream poem called 'Magic Mist.' 'Courage' is a tribute to my hometown (Brockton, Massachusetts) boxing legend Rocky Marciano, who remains the only heavyweight champion in boxing history to retire having won every fight in his professional career. Lately I've been intrigued by the physical intensity and body movements of boxing. I'm beginning to visualize these movements and apply boxing concepts in my drumming. 'The Return of the Peanut Butter Queen' was first an actual dream I had about a queen named Ilylea who taught her fellow peanuts the magic of making peanut butter, creating great prosperity and hope in the land of peanut. Later I wandered this story into a composition. 'Story of Jones' is a country-style instrumental narrative - each of the three sections re-enacts what happened on the famous train engineer's journey to the promised land in 1900. Jones lost his life saving his passengers when he collided with Old No. 9 in Tennessee and was found dead still gripping the train's brakes."
Along with the dream concept there's a lot more singing on Boxing Dreams than on Stories to Tell, and generally the songs are multi-lingual (Gaelic, Wolof, Bambara, English). Says Sean: "I think of my songs as old wine in new bottles, where my mission is to truly further understand and preserve folklore and present it in a modern context. A major aspect of Boxing Dreams is how the music adapts storytelling, folklore and post-modern jazz, merging material from the Bardic and Griot traditions." The singers were given freedom to interpret the compositions: "I would first have them listen to the music and then told them what the basic theme was and have them sing about what they visualized. Both Susan and Abdoulaye surprised me in how they complemented the instrumental arrangements, and Susan discovered and presented some amazing Irish literature." An example of the unique synergy between voices and instruments: Susan's sound is entranced and bewitching, and Mat Maneri is like her instrumental shadow or familiar. As Aram Bajakian, Sean's closest musical collaborator here, comments: "There's something really eerie about the way Susan's voice goes with Mat's playing. And then Abdoulaye will come in, and it brings a smile to your face. He has such an amazing presence." And this is just one example of the surprising juxtapositions Noonan pulls off throughout the record. With Marc Ribot and Jamaaladeen Tacuma adding their own brilliant improvising to the brew, Boxing Dreams takes Sean's Afro-Celtic-American project to a new level."-Songlines
• Show Bio for Marc Ribot
"Marc Ribot (pronounced REE-bow) was born in Newark, New Jersey in 1954. As a teen, he played guitar in various garage bands while studying with his mentor, Haitian classical guitarist and composer Frantz Casseus. After moving to New York City in 1978, Ribot was a member of the soul/punk Realtones, and from 1984 - 1989, of John Lurie's Lounge Lizards. Between 1979 and 1985, Ribot also worked as a side musician with Brother Jack McDuff, Wilson Pickett, Carla Thomas, Rufus Thomas, Chuck Berry, and many others.
Rolling Stone points out that "Guitarist Marc Ribot helped Tom Waits refine a new, weird Americana on 1985's "Rain Dogs", and since then he's become the go-to guitar guy for all kinds of roots-music adventurers: Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, Elvis Costello, John Mellencamp." Additional recording credits include Soloman Burke, Neko Case, Diana Krall, Beth Orton, Marianne Faithful, Arto Lindsay, Caetano Veloso, Laurie Anderson, Susana Baca, McCoy Tyner, The Jazz Passengers, Medeski, Martin & Wood, Cibo Matto, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, James Carter, Vinicio Capposella (Italy), Auktyon (Russia), Vinicius Cantuaria, Sierra Maestra (Cuba), Alain Bashung (France), Marisa Monte, Allen Ginsburg, Madeleine Peyroux, Sam Phillips, and more recently Joe Henry, Allen Toussaint, Norah Jones, Akiko Yano, The Black Keys, Jeff Bridges, Jolie Holland, Elton John/Leon Russell and many others. Ribot frequently collaborates with producer T Bone Burnett, most notably on Alison Krauss and Robert Plant's Grammy Award winning "Raising Sand" and regularly works with composer John Zorn.
Marc has released over 20 albums under his own name over a 35-year career, exploring everything from the pioneering jazz of Albert Ayler with his group "Spiritual Unity" (Pi Recordings), to the Cuban son of Arsenio Rodríguez with two critically acclaimed releases on Atlantic Records under "Marc Ribot Y Los Cubanos Postizos". His avant power trio/post-rock band, Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog (Pi Recordings), continues the lineage of his earlier experimental no-wave/punk/noise groups Rootless Cosmopolitans (Island Antilles) and Shrek (Tzadik). Marc's solo recordings include "Marc Ribot Plays The Complete Works of Frantz Casseus" (Les Disques Du Crepuscule), "John Zorn's The Book of Heads" (Tzadik), "Don't Blame Me" (DIW), "Saints" (Atlantic), "Exercises in Futility" (Tzadik), and his latest "Silent Movies" released in 2010 on Pi Recordings was described as a "down-in-mouth-near master piece" by the Village Voice and has landed on several Best of 2010 lists including the LA Times and critical praise across the board. 2013 saw the release of "Your Turn" (Northern Spy), the sophomore effort from Ribot's post-rock/noise trio Ceramic Dog, and 2014 saw the monumental release: "Marc Ribot Trio Live at the Village Vanguard" (Pi Recordings), documenting Marc's first headline and the return of Henry Grimes at the historical venue in 2012 already included on Best of 2014 lists including Downbeat Magazine and NPR's 50 Favorites.
Marc has performed on scores such as "The Kids Are All Right," "Where the Wild Things Are," "Walk The Line (Mangold)," "Everything is Illuminated," and "The Departed" (Scorcese)." Marc has also composed original scores including the French film Gare du Nord (Simon), the PBS documentary "Revolucion: Cinco Miradas," the film "Drunkboat," starring John Malkovich and John Goodman, a documentary film by Greg Feldman titled "Joe Schmoe," a feature film by director Joe Brewster titled "The Killing Zone", and dance pieces "In as Much as Life is Borrowed", by famed Belgian choreographer, Wim Vandekeybus, and Yoshiko Chuma's "Altogether Different". Marc is also currently touring his live solo guitar score to Charlie Chaplin's "The Kid", which was commissioned by the NY Guitar Festival and premiered Jan 2010 at Merkin Hall, as well as a program of new arrangements of classic Film Noir scores commissioned by the New School Noir Arts Festival 2011.
In 2009, Marc was named curator and musical director for the year's Century of Song Festival, part of the Ruhr Triennale in Germany. The concert series sparked new collaborations with Iggy Pop, Marianne Faithfull, David Hidalgo of Los Lobos, master cajón player Juan Medrano Cotito, Carla Bozulich and Tine Kindermann.
Marc's talents have also been showcased with a full symphony orchestra. Composer Stewart Wallace wrote a guitar concerto with orchestra specifically for Marc. The piece was premiered by the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington DC in July of 2004 and also appeared at The Cabrillo Festival in Santa Cruz, CA in August of 2005.
Marc is currently touring with several projects including the Marc Ribot Trio, a free jazz group featuring legendary bassist Henry Grimes and Chad Taylor on drums, his power trio Ceramic Dog with bassist Shahzad Ismaily and drummer Ches Smith, the Philly soul meets the harmolodics of Ornette Coleman's The Young Philadelphians with Jamaaladeen Tacuma and Calvin Weston, and with Caged Funk, a project of funk arrangements of John Cage's music featuring Bernie Worrell of Parliament Funkadelic fame."-Marc Ribot Website (http://marcribot.com/bio)
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• Show Bio for Mat Maneri
"Mat Maneri was born in 1969, and started studying violin at age five. He studied privately with Julliard String Quartet founder Robert Koff, and with bass virutuoso Miroslav Vitous. Mat received a full scholarship as the principal violinist at Walnut Hill High School, but left school to pursue a professional career in music. By 1990, Mat founded the critically acclaimed Joe Maneri Quartet with Randy Peterson. Mat started releasing records as a leader in 1996, and has developed four working ensembles. Pianists Paul Bley, Cecil Taylor, Matthew Shipp, and Borah Bergman have called upon Matt to perform with them in such venues as the Montreal Jazz Festival, the Library of Congress, and concert stages across Europe. Mat also enjoys a strong relationship with bassists Ed Schuller, Mark Dresser, William Parker, Michael Formanek, Barre Phillips, and John Lockwood. Never to be boxed in, Mat has also worked with Joe Morris, John Medeski, Tim Berne, Cecil McBee, T.K. Ramakrishnan, Franz Kogelman, Roy Campbell, Spring Heel Jack, Draze Hoops, and appears on an Illy B Eats remix CD. Mat presently teaches privately and through the New School / NYC, and performs and records worldwide."-Aum Fidelity (http://www.aumfidelity.com/maneri.html)
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