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Tsahar's 60-minute suite with his NY heavyweights Zoanthropic Orchestra is a sort of self-portrait in sound, drawing on auditory memories from his childhood on.
 

Tsahar, Assif and the Zoanthropic Orchestra
Embracing the Void

Tsahar, Assif and the Zoanthropic Orchestra: Embracing the Void (Hopscotch Records)
Label: Hopscotch Records    
Released in: USA    


"On his first few releases, in duos and trios with Susie Ibarra and William Parker, Assif Tsahar proved himself a talented tenor man. More recently, he is showing his composing side, and a strong side it is. His string-heavy New York Underground Orchestra played a beautiful set at this year's Vision Festival with the leader conducting; that performance has been set to disc on another recent Hopscotch release.

The Zoanthropic Orchestra is a longer-standing ensemble than the string orchestra, and on Embracing the Void it shows a stronger hand from the composer. Tsahar's 60-minute suite is, as suggested by his liner notes, a sort of self-portrait in sound, drawing on auditory memories from his childhood to recent years. The notes are brief reminiscences, more snapshot than storyline, but they suggest a lifetime of listening. The 14-piece band delivers a strong performance, and while individual soloists are credited, this is an ensemble record. Tsahar's charts owe a spiritual debt to Charles Mingus (another composer of portraits). As with Mingus' large ensemble work, the interplay under the solos is often as exciting as the solos themselves. The group had played for over a year before recording this, their first disc, and it shows in their shared communication.

That said, there's plenty of talent contained within. Curtis Hasselbring, Steve Swell and Reut Regev make for a powerful trombone section and the excellent Taylor Baynum Ho is one of the three trumpets. Ori Kaplan, Alex Harding and the leader are in the five-horn sax section, backed up by the always-solid Tom Abbs on bass and ever mindful drummer Andrew Barker. Rounding out the rhythm section is pianist Craig Taborn, who delivers the strongest performances on the disc.

In the notes, Tsahar says that as an adolescent he was diagnosed with zoanthropy - the belief that one has turned into an animal. Whatever such a delusion might stem from, it does perhaps suggest an instinct and a zeal for living. As a player and as a composer, Tsahar shows passion. If that's animalistic, so be it."-Kurt Gottschalk, All About Jazz



"Born in Newark, NJ, Steve Swell has been an active member of the NYC music community since 1975. He has toured and recorded with many artists from mainstreamers such as Lionel Hampton and Buddy Rich to so called outsiders as Anthony Braxton, Bill Dixon, Cecil Taylor and William Parker. He has over 40 CDs as a leader or co-leader and is a featured artists on more than 100 other releases. He runs workshops around the world and is a teaching artist in the NYC public school system focusing on special needs children.

Swell has worked on music transcriptions of the Bosavi tribe of New Guinea for MacArthur fellow, Steve Feld in 2000. His CD, "Suite For Players, Listeners and Other Dreamers" (CIMP) ranked number 2 in the 2004 Cadence Readers Poll. He has also received grants from USArtists International in 2006, MCAF (LMCC) awards in 2008 and 2013 and has been commissioned twice on the Interpretations Series at Merkin Hall in 2006 and at Roulette in 2012.

Steve was nominated for Trombonist of the Year 2008 & 2011 by the Jazz Journalists Association, was selected Trombonist of the Year 2008-2010 , 2012 and 2014-2015 by the magazine El Intruso of Argentina and received the 2008 Jubilation Foundation Fellowship Award of the Tides Foundation. Steve has also been selected by the Downbeat Critics Poll in the Trombone category each year from 2010-2016.

Steve is presently a teaching artist through the American Composers Orchestra, Healing Arts Initiative , Mind-Builders Creative Arts Center (Bronx), the Jazz Foundation of America and Leman Manhattan Preparatory School.

Steve was also awarded the 2014 Creative Curricula grant (LMCC) for the project: "Metamorphoses: Modern Mythology in Sound and Words" which was taught in a month long residency at Baruch College Campus High School in Manhattan."

-Steve Swell Website (http://www.steveswell.com/SteveSwellBio.htm)
2/15/2017

"Taylor Ho Bynum (b. 1975) has spent his career navigating the intersections between structure and improvisation - through musical composition, performance and interdisciplinary collaboration, and through production, organizing, teaching, writing and advocacy. As heard on over twenty recordings as a bandleader, Bynum's expressionistic playing on cornet and his expansive vision as composer have garnered him critical attention as one of the singular musical voices of his generation. He currently leads his Sextet and 7-tette, and works with many collective ensembles including a duo with drummer Tomas Fujiwara, the improv trio Book of Three, the UK/US collaborative Convergence Quartet, the dance/music interdisciplinary ensemble Masters of Ceremony, and the trans-idiomatic little big band Positive Catastrophe.

His varied endeavors include his Acoustic Bicycle Tours (where he travels to concerts solely by bike across thousands of miles) and his stewardship of Anthony Braxton's Tri-Centric Foundation (which he serves as executive director, producing most of Braxton's recent major projects). In addition to his own bands, his ongoing collaboration with Braxton, past work with other legendary figures such as Bill Dixon and Cecil Taylor, and current collective projects with forward thinking peers, Bynum increasingly travels the globe to conduct community-based large ensembles in explorations of new creative orchestra music. He is also a published author and contributor to The New Yorker's Culture Blog, has taught at universities, festivals, and workshops worldwide, and has served as a panelist and consultant for leading funders and organizations. His work has received support from Creative Capital, the Connecticut Office of the Arts, Chamber Music America, New Music USA, USArtists International, and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation."

-Taylor Ho Bynum website (http://taylorhobynum.com/)
2/15/2017

"Craig Marvin Taborn (/ˈteɪˌbɔːrn/; born February 20, 1970) is an American pianist, organist, keyboardist and composer. He works solo and in bands, mostly playing various forms of jazz. He started playing piano and Moog synthesizer as an adolescent and was influenced at an early stage by a wide range of music, including by the freedom expressed in recordings of free jazz and contemporary classical music.

While at university, Taborn toured and recorded with jazz saxophonist James Carter. Taborn went on to play with numerous other musicians in electronic and acoustic settings, while also building a reputation as a solo pianist. He has a range of styles, and often adapts his playing to the nature of the instrument and the sounds that he can make it produce. His improvising, particularly for solo piano, often adopts a modular approach, in which he begins with small units of melody and rhythm and then develops them into larger forms and structures.

In 2011, Down Beat magazine chose Taborn as winner of the electric keyboard category, as well as rising star in both the piano and organ categories. By May 2016, Taborn had released six albums under his own name and appeared on more than eighty as a sideman."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Craig_Taborn)
2/13/2017





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Product Information:

UPC: 0695269600926

Label: Hopscotch Records
Catalog ID: Hop 09
Squidco Product Code: 11913

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2001
Country: USA
Packaging: Cardstock Gatefold Sleeve
Recorded live at the Knitting Factory, February 5, 2001 by Sascha Von-oertzen. Mastered by Assif Tsahar.

Personnel:

Assif Tsahar-conduction, tenor sax

Curtis Huselbring-trombone

Steve Swell-trombone

Reut Regev-trombone

Antoine Brye-trumpet

Matt Lavell-trumpet

Taylor Ho Bynum-trumpet

Oscar Nuriega-bass clarinet, alto sax

Ori Kaplan-alto sax

Aaron Stewart-tenor sax

Alex Harding-baritone sax

Craig Taborn-piano

Tom Abbs-bass

Andrew Barker-drums

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Track Listing:

1. Embracing The Void, Pt. 1 - July 1975 7:23

2. Embracing The Void, Pt. 2 - February 1987 5:08

3. Embracing The Void, Pt. 3 - March 1982 5:00

4. Embracing The Void, Pt. 4 - October 1988 4:56

5. Embracing The Void, Pt. 5 - April 1984 8:50

6. Embracing The Void, Pt. 6 - September 1993 4:20

7. Embracing The Void, Pt. 7 - December 1989 4:36

8. Embracing The Void, Pt. 8 - Novermber 2000 6:42

9. Embracing The Void, Pt. 9 - August 2001 5:33

10. Embracing The Void, Pt. 10 - May 1988 3:17