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Ulrich, Tomas Cargo Cult With Rolf Sturm & Michael Bisio: Discovers (CIMP)

Cellist Ulrich's Cargo Cult with Michael Bisio on bass and Rolf Sturm on guitar in their 4th release, here in an album of original compositions from all 3 members of the trio.

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product information:

UPC: 786497575923

Label: CIMP
Catalog ID: CIMP 385
Squidco Product Code: 14276

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2011
Country: USA
Packaging: Jewel Tray
Recorded at the Spirit Room, Rossie, NY on June 1st, 2008 by Marc D. Rush.


Thomas Ulrich-cello

Michael Bisio-bass

Rolf Sturm-guitar

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Artist Biographies:

"Michael Bisio, bassist/composer, has eighty five recordings in his discography, twenty four of these are split evenly between leader/co-leader, ten of them document his extraordinary association with modern piano icon Matthew Shipp. Michael has been called a poet, a wonder and one of the most virtuosic and imaginative performers on the double bass. Nate Chinen in the New York Times writes : "The physicality of Mr. Bisio's bass playing puts him in touch with numerous predecessors in the avant-garde, but his expressive touch is distinctive;..."

As a composer Michael has been awarded nine grants and an Artist Trust Fellowship

Collaborators include Matthew Shipp, Joe McPhee, Charles Gayle, Connie Crothers, Whit Dickey, Ivo Perelman, Barbara Donald, Newman Taylor Baker, Rob Brown, Sonny Simmons and Sabir Mateen."

-Michael Bisio Website (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.
track listing:

1. To Birds 4:44

2. If Only 4:33

3. Because of You 4:25

4. Mixed Emotions 7:09

5. I Know 4:05

6. Walking Through Those Shadows 11:10

7. A New Day 6:04

8. Oil 5:08

9. History of a Mystery: H.Floresiensis 11:52

10. Song for Musetta 2:54
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"This is Cargo Cult's fourth recording and this trio is continuing to find interest in their ever evolving concepts: always musical. Their last release had them addressing covers/standards. This time out they all contribute originals; compositions strong enough in their musicality to stop you in your tracks. If you haven't tested the Cargo Cult waters, do so and find out what has CIMP - and everyone else whose heard them - so excited!"-CIMP

"This trio first worked publicly in February of 2007 (Cadence Jazz Records 1214) and, in January 2008, were first recorded for CIMP (#275). For the background and circumstances of the group, I’d encourage you to check out those two prior releases or, short of that, please go to the CIMP website and read the notes for #275. That session was, for me, a remarkable music experience. Before it was over I invited the group back, suggesting an expanded session to further explore and expose a still unexposed range of music and capture more of the depth of their playing. So here I am, after raving on for half a year about this group, prepared to produce them again—and all this before their first recording has yet to be released. Foolish and risky from a commercial point of view but, from an artistic point of view, an imperative, and hardly a risk. I hope you share my enthusiasm and endorse my impulsiveness.

The group assembled in The Spirit Room in mid afternoon. With welcoming and joyous spirit, they started the sound checks, which, in fit and finish, picked up from where the session of a half year before left off. Technical brilliance in art is not a priority for me. By itself technique may be impressive but it can be emotionally sterile. Clearly these three can deliver on technical brilliance but they also excel at emotive and compositional depth. And it was the depth and breadth of their talents that I wanted to further explore. Which is why, immediately after the January recording, I proposed that we meet again over a more extended time in order to extemporize on both originals and covers to, in effect, let this group expound in a wide range of colors, familiar and unfamiliar.

The first night’s session was devoted to covers, opening with the Donizetti, a wonderful reading arranged by Tomas. Where one person’s familiar reference is another’s tedium, for this listener: the more familiar the work the greater the chance of tedium. When dealing with the familiar, the imperative for any artist is (or should be) to give it a fresh presentation, a tribute to the subject with comment. This group uses a variety of techniques on these covers. For instance, they reverse the structure by improvising freely into the theme on Let’s Cool One (Mike’s arrangement) whereas, on Nature Boy, Tomas, who has an obvious love for the sentiment, plays the theme with an emotional sweep before almost violently—but with emotive affection—attacking that very sentiment.

We reviewed various takes the next morning at breakfast, after having completed the bulk of the non-original material, and, not surprising to me, satisfaction reigned. Musically the day began with a nod to the folk Blues in a duo interpretation of Robert Johnson’s Come On In My Kitchen. At this point Tomas decided to leave the rest of the cover material for later, saying he thought it lent itself to night music. And so we began to work on the group’s originals and, in so doing, looked at not only their interpretive strengths but compositional strengths as well.

One of the things I find remarkable about this trio is not so much that it can draw on and extemporize such a broad range of styles—even genres—but that it can make substantive statements on these references. Compare I Know and Walking Through Those Shadows, two very different musical colors but both full and satisfying in their creative use of structure and statements. I’m not a fan of the supermarket approach to music even though I enjoy a wide variety of music, including European Baroque to American Roots to European Avant Garde. I am often asked “What kind of music do you like?” by performers wishing to send me demos, followed by assurances that they can do it all. And perhaps they can. But execution is often insubstantial, statements hackneyed, and, in being everything, they are almost always nothing.

The session ended with Tomas’ solo ode to a beloved cat, Song for Musetta. These three really can do it (almost) all: cover, uncover, discover, recover. Both individually, and now as a group, they have a track record and a body of work that documents this. In coming together as Cargo Cult they have found a synthesis that is even greater than their considerable parts. Supergroup? Whatever. Supermusic? Without a doubt."-Robert D. Rusch - July 1, 2008

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
Trio Recordings

Other Releases With These Artists:
Recommended & Related Releases:
Other Recommended Releases:
Bisio, Michael (w/ Kirk Knuffke / Art Bailey / Michael Wimberly)
(Relative Pitch)
Davidson, Scott with Shipp / Shorter / Bisio / Dickey

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