The acoustic quartet of NY improvisers drummer Jim Black, bassist Trevor Dunn, and saxophonists Oscar Noriega and Chris Speed, pushing the jazz genre while powered by tradition.
Black / Dunn / Noriega / Speed
Released in: USA
"Endangered Blood is a burning acoustic jazz quartet - four experienced musicians in their prime, playing at their best. On their self-titled debut CD, Chris Speed (tenor saxophone), Oscar Noriega (alto saxophone and bass clarinet), Trevor Dunn (bass) and Jim Black (drums) carry on the genre- pushing, limitless experimentation of bands like Alas No Axis, The Claudia Quintet and Electric Masada (all of which include EB members). Endangered Blood also is an urgent example of the jazz tradition's continuing power to inspire musicians to reinvent, reinterpret and re-shape. Most of all it is a celebration of long-term commitment - to friendships and to music itself.
Endangered Blood was formed in 2008 to play at a benefit for a friend's cancer treatment - thus their original name, The Benefit Band. Longtime friends and collaborators Chris Speed and Jim Black should need no introduction to fans of cutting edge music. Their work together has included some of the most influential avant-jazz of the last twenty years- in their own bands like Human Feel, Pachora, Yeah No and Alas No Axis, and with other artists like Uri Caine and Tim Berne's bloodcount. Trevor Dunn is one of the top bassists of his generation, known both for his legendary avant-rock band Mr. Bungle and for his extensive work with John Zorn and Mike Patton. Multi-reedist Oscar Noriega may be a new name to many listeners, but his relationship with Speed and Black stretches back over twenty years. Awareness of his role as an underground force in the New York jazz world is rapidly expanding due to his recent work with Lee Konitz and especially as a member of Tim Berne's new quartet Los Totopos.
The music on their debut CD reflects this history and its members' lifelong love for the jazz tradition. Original pieces by Speed like "Plunge," "Rare," and "Elvin Lisbon" continue his relentless push to unify his musical obsessions - pre and post-Coltrane jazz, Eastern European music, and avant-rock. "Uri Bird" demonstrates a powerful engagement with bebop. "Iris," unlike any other piece in the Speed catalogue, shows the influence of New Orleans- particularly a visit to the Iris Mardi Gras parade. "Epistrophy," of course, is an arrangement of the Thelonious Monk classic, maintaining the spirit of Monk in the inimitable voice of Endangered Blood. Other pieces, like "Tacos at Oscar's" and "Andrew's Ditty Variation 1" celebrate the powerful and longtime friendships that form the true backbone of Endangered Blood - the alchemy between musicians whose lives and music have been intertwined for decades."-Skirl
• Show Bio for Jim Black
Jim Black is at the forefront of a new generation of musicians bringing jazz into the 21st century. In addition to being one of the most influential drummers of our time, he is also the leader of one of the world's most forward-thinking bands, AlasNoAxis, featuring his longtime collaborators Chris Speed, Hilmar Jensson and Skúli Sverrisson. Based on the foundation of his virtuosic but highly personal approach to jazz drumming, Black's aesthetic has expanded to include Balkan rhythms, rock songcraft and laptop soundscapes. Though he is revered worldwide for his limitless technique and futuristic concepts, what many listeners treasure in most Jim Black's work is the relentless feeling of joy and invention he brings to his performances. Jim Black's smiling, kinetic, unpredictable presence has enthralled and inspired audiences worldwide for over twenty-five years.
Since the mid-90's, Black has played a major role in the incorporation of new sounds and techniques into the jazz/creative music context. As a member of the collective group Pachora (with Speed, Sverrisson, and guitarist Brad Shepik) Black was one of the leaders in the study and adaptation of Balkan music into jazz-based music. His advanced techniques abstracted the odd time signatures of the Balkans into a new polyrhythmic language equally informed by modern jazz, drum&bass and the dumbeks of the Balkans. Black has also been an innovator in the use of electronics in improvisation, bridging the gap between electro-acoustic improv and more jazz-based traditions. Today, Black's performances are just as likely to feature his laptop-based electronic textures as his drumming.
Born in 1967, Jim Black grew up in Seattle alongside future colleagues Chris Speed, Andrew D'Angelo and Cuong Vu. After cementing their personal and artistic relationships in Seattle's various youth jazz ensembles, in 1985 they moved to Boston, where Black entered the Berklee School of Music. In Boston, Black, Speed and D'Angelo formed Human Feel with guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel, which rapidly attracted the attention of the jazz cognoscenti in Boston, New York and beyond.
By 1991, Black and the other members of Human Feel had moved to New York City, where they electrified the Downtown music scene then centered around the Knitting Factory and rapidly became among the city's busiest sidemen. Black's early years in New York saw him take featured roles in some of the most critically acclaimed bands of the time, like Tim Berne's Bloodcount, Ellery Eskelin's trio, and Dave Douglas's Tiny Bell Trio. Thus began fifteen years of near-constant touring and recording, with the above bands as well as artists like Uri Caine, Dave Liebman, Nels Cline, Steve Coleman, Tomasz Stanko, and Laurie Anderson.-Jim Black Website (http://www.jimblack.com/Jim_Black_dotcom/BIO.html)
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• 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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NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
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Shipping Weight: 3.00 units
Quantity in Basket: None
Catalog ID: Skirl 015
Squidco Product Code: 14119
Packaging: CD in a DVD digipak
Recorded on September 3rd and 4th, 2010 by Andy Taub at Brooklyn recording.
Oscar Noriega-alto saxophone, bass clarinet
Chris Speed-tenor saxophone
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1. Plunge 6:21
2. Rare 6:56
3. Epistrophy 4:18
4. Elvin Lisbon 3:31
5. K 4:33
6. Tacos At Oscars 5:34
7. Iris 5:27
8. Uri Bird 4:13
9. Valya 6:50
10. Andrew's Ditty Variation One 3:21