NY drummer Perowsky's Quartet with Chris Speed, Drew Gress and Ted Reichman in an eclectic set of original compositions alongside Geroge Harrison, Beatles and Hendrix tracks.
Released in: USA
"[...] An artist with eclectic interests, the debut of Perowsky's new quartet, Esopus Opus, features myriad genres-from classic rock covers and Brazilian favorites to his own mercurial originals. Interestingly, Perowsky's group inadvertently mirrors fellow percussionist John Hollenbeck's flagship ensemble, the Claudia Quintet. Both line-ups feature Chris Speed (clarinet, tenor saxophone), Ted Reichman (accordion), and Drew Gress (bass), with Hollenbeck's Quintet adding vibraphonist Matt Moran to the mix.
Despite similarities in personnel, Perowsky approaches writing for the same basic instrumentation from a different angle, drawing deeper from folk forms and popular music than Hollenbeck, whose more formal approach embraces aspects of neo-classicism and minimalism. Like two sides of the same coin, Perowsky uses a similar palette to obtain different results; his appealingly ragged tunes are more akin to punk rock than classical music.
Beyond the catchy tunes, the record's lasting appeal rests in the stellar capabilities of Perowsky's veteran sidemen. Gress' subterranean bottom end complements the leader's percussive thrashings with machine-like precision while Reichman's rich chordal voicings lend an exotic air; his sonorous pedal tones provide the group with a vast, expansive sound. Playing clarinet for the majority of the session, Speed delivers a number of breathtaking statements, most notably on the Coltrane-esque "Present Distance," which features a lengthy, unfettered tenor solo-something one rarely hears on his own records.
A compelling statement from an up and coming new voice, Esopus Opus is a raw, enthusiastic exploration of the endless possibilities of contemporary music."-Troy Collins, All About Jazz
"One of the most accomplished drummers of his generation, Ben Perowsky's notable career has placed him among a small vanguard of players able to move between jazz, experimental music and cutting edge pop and rock. Ben began his early performing life with jazz legend James Moody, pop songstress Rickie Lee Jones and R&B star Roy Ayers. He went on to tour and record with Miles Davis' sidemen Bob Berg, Mike Stern and later John Scofield. Ben has collaborated with numerous artists since then including Elysian Fields, Joan as Policewoman, Uri Caine, Steven Bernstein, John Zorn, Ronnie Cuber, Dave Douglas, Walter Becker and John Lurie's Lounge Lizards.
Amidst his busy sideman/recording career, Ben created and co-led the band Lost Tribe who released three critically acclaimed records. He released Ben Perowsky Trio on his fathers label JazzKey Music, LTD in 1999 from which the title Segment was used in the Will Farrel movie Talegega Nights. In 2003 he released Camp Songs for John Zorn's Tzadik label. In 2006 Ben created his own label, El Destructo Records with two releases to date: El Destructo: Volume I, a blending of dark ambient dub improv and El Destructo: Volume II Moodswing Orchestra which expands on this idea, adding 4 more instrumentalists and 5 well-known vocalists. Also in '06 Ben formed the Red Cred Quartet with Chris Speed, John Medeski and Larry Grenadier. They meet regularly in the Catskill mountains to play concerts. In 2007 Ben played on the disco hit song "Blind" by Hercules and Love Affair. Inspired, Ben introduced Diva, a disco inflected roaming, improvised dance party built for chance special guests. In the Spring of 2009 The Ben Perowsky Quartet: Chris Speed, Ted Reichman and Drew Gress released a CD entitled Esopus Opus featuring Ben's latest compositions and arrangements on Skirl records."-Ben Perowsky Website
• Show Bio for Chris Speed
"Chris Speed is a composer, clarinetist and saxophonist - and is "one of the principal figures in a dynamic left-of-center jazz/improv scene in the city" (NYTimes). His own bands include Endangered Blood, Human Feel, yeah NO, Trio Iffy, Pachora and The Clarinets. He is a founding member of Jim Black's Alas No Axis and John Hollenbeck's Claudia Quintet (two of the most influential working bands today), works with Uri Caine (deconstructing works by Mahler, Mozart, Bach, Schoenberg, Gershwin) and maintains a busy career of touring, recording, performing, composing, practicing and teaching. Current projects include work with Craig Taborn's Heroic Frenzies, Michael Formanek's Ensemble Kolossus, Dave King's Trucking Co., Matt Mitchell Quartet, Mary Halvorson's Reverse Blue, Banda de los Muertos (NYC's only Banda band), as well as touring his latest project, Endangered Blood (with Black, Trevor Dunn and Oscar Noriega) which was featured on NPR's Tiny Desk Concerts in 2012. (Endangered Blood 2010, Work Your Magic 2013 Skirl). "Speed's Endangered Blood originals stand out as his most melodically generous, accessible and warm batch of compositions he's yet to produce." -DownBeat ****Born in 1967, Speed grew up in the Seattle area where he met future colleagues Jim Black and Andrew D'Angelo, all of whom ended up in Boston in the late 80's where they formed Human Feel with guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel. (Scatter 1992, Welcome to Malpesta 1994, Speak To It 1996, Galore 2007). While in Boston he studied at New England Conservatory and graduated in 1990. By 1992, after a short tour with the Artie Shaw Band (led by Dick Johnson), Speed moved to New York City where he started working with Tim Berne's (now legendary touring band) Bloodcount. (Unwound 1996, Discretion 1997, Saturation Point 1997, The Seconds 2006).In April 2006, he launched Skirl Records, a label dedicated to Brooklyn based creative music" -Chris Speed Website (http://chrisspeed.com/bio/)
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• Show Bio for Drew Gress
"Drew Gress (born November 20, 1959) is an American jazz double-bassist and composer born in Trenton, New Jersey, raised in the Philadelphia area, and currently based in New York City.
Gress became interested in jazz and the double bass while a teenager, joining the Pennsbury Concert Jazz Band, a nationally-prominent high school jazz ensemble, in 1975, spending two years as bassist and arranger for the group. His interest in composing original material for large ensembles, such as those of Johnny Richards, Billy May, and Pat Williams, led him to Baltimore's Towson State University in 1977, where he studied composition and counterpoint with Hank Levy, known for his work with Don Ellis and Stan Kenton. While at Towson, Gress established a playing relationship with saxophonist Ellery Eskelin, with whom he cofounded Joint Venture with Paul Smoker and Phil Haynes. They released three albums on Enja Records between 1987 and 1994.
During the 1980s in the Baltimore/Washington DC area, he played with Sonny Stitt, Clifford Jordan, Albert Dailey, Mose Allison, Zoot Sims, Cab Calloway, Buddy Hackett, Phyllis Diller, and pianist Marc Copland, with whom he still plays today. He also served on the faculties of the Peabody Conservatory, Towson State University, and the Baltimore School for the Arts. He formed a quartet, Tekke, in 1989 with David Kane, Glenn Cashman, and Michael Smith.
In 1997, he cofounded the cooperative improvising trio Paraphrase with saxophonist/composer Tim Berne and drummer Tom Rainey. Together, they pursued a compositional approach to free improvisational practice. They recorded three live albums together and toured extensively.
In 1998, he released his first album as leader, Heyday, with his band Jagged Sky (featuring David Binney, Ben Monder, and Kenny Wollesen). 2001 saw the release of Spin & Drift with Uri Caine, Berne, and Rainey, in which he played pedal steel guitar for the first time.
Earlier in the 1990s, he served tenures as artist in residence at University of Colorado-Boulder and at Russia's St. Petersburg Conservatory.
Since 1992, Gress has maintained an extensive touring schedule, traveling to Europe, Asia, and South America. Those with whom he has and continues to work include Tim Berne, Ravi Coltrane, Uri Caine, John Hollenbeck, Fred Hersch, Marc Copland, Don Byron, Steve Coleman, Dave Douglas, Jack DeJohnette, John Surman, Ray Anderson, Erik Friedlander, Kenny Werner, Bill Carrothers, Ralph Alessi, Tony Malaby, Steve Lehman, and Edsel Gomez. To date, he has appeared on over 140 recordings, 4 of which have received Grammy nominations.
Gress' own ensembles have toured Europe four times since 2002, in addition to isolated festival appearances in Italy and Portugal. In 2004, the UK's BBC Radio and London's Guardian selected his quartet's live radio broadcast as Jazz Concert of the Year.
Composition awards include an NEA grant (1990), funding from Meet the Composer (2003), a Chamber Music America New Works Grant (2005), a CMA French-American Exchange Grant (2007), and an Encore Grant from that same organization (2008). He continues to compose for larger groups and has begun experimenting with virtual synthesizers."-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drew_Gress)
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NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
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Shipping Weight: 3.00 units
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Catalog ID: Skirl 011
Squidco Product Code: 11671
Packaging: DVD Digipack
Recorded by Andy Taub at Brooklyn Recording, March 2008.
Chris Speed-tenor saxophone, clarinet
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1. Keylime 4:18
2. Manic Depression 3:52
3. Within You Without You 5:46
4. Esopus Opus 2:52
5. Perolas 5:22
6. Nem Um Talvez 3:42
7. Flying 3:29
8. Murnau On The Bayou 6:32
9. Present Distance 5:52
10. Red Hook 7:27