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Silverman, Ken Septet: From Emptiness (SoundSeer Records)

Guitarist Silverman in a free improvising septet with Roy Campbell, Blaise Siwula, Tom Swafford and Dave Miller, plus Buddhist monk Kossan and Cumbus player Tom Shad.
 

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product information:


UPC: 610563027859

Label: SoundSeer Records
Catalog ID: S1001
Squidco Product Code: 14387

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2011
Country: USA
Packaging: Jewel Tray
Recorded in November 2009 at Future Sound, NY by Ivan Evangelista.


Personnel:

Ken Silverman-electric guitar, acoustic guitar, oud, hand percussion

Roy Campbell-trumpet, pocket trumpet, flugelhorn, flute

Kossan-chanting, sanshin

Blaise Siwula-alto saxophone, clarinet

Tom Shad-Turkish Cumbus

Dave Miller-drums

Tom Swafford-violin

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track listing:


1. FROM 22:04

2. EMPTI 6:27

3. NESS 4:28

4. THOUGHT 7:57

5. AND EMO 13:49

6. TION 2:43

7. FROM (reprise) 1:13
Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Jazz
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
Unusual Vocal Forms
Septet recordings

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descriptions, reviews, &c.

Ken Silverman's label Soundseer releases From Emptiness featuring the great Roy Campbell, as well as Blaise Siwula on Alto and Clarinet, myself, and the secret weapon of the CD is a Japanese Buddhist Monk who chants and plays the Shansin. Rounding out the instrumentation is Violin (To Swafford) turkish Cumbus (Tom shad), and Drums (Dave Miller). The CD focuses on juxtaposing the chanting of the Monk with the creative playing of the great musicians on the record.

"A word about Kossan: A practicing Buddhist monk, I met him while he was chanting in front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art a few years ago. Heas game for trying improvisation and proved to be a natural. The centerpiece of the recording is "FROM", which is an orchestral arrangement designed to create improvised episodes of shifting instrumental combinations. The other pieces are all free improvisations."-Ken Silverman



"Guitarist/oudist/composer Ken Silverman's From Emptiness is an overtly theatrical and intensely spiritual work. From the abstract, Zen-like, black and white cover art to the chanting of the Buddhist Monk and Sanshin player Kossan that opens and closes the record, the profound spirituality of the music is quite apparent.

The titles of the tunes spell out the sentence "From Emptiness Thought and Emotion," and even though there are seven individual tracks, the music is conceptually one long suite, with an intermission placed before the hypnotic "And Emo" and subsequent "Tion" which change the momentum by creating a repetitive theme where instruments and vocals swirl around each other in an ever-expanding eddy of harmony and sound. The coda-like "From (reprise)," a second take of Kossan's opening chant ends the album.

The theatricality of the compositions and improvisations are not just formalist affectation, but a necessary part of the creative process, as different musical instruments wander, in pairs, onto the virtual stage-the horns first, followed by two pairs of string instruments-building the theme. Here and there, homages to more traditional jazz styles appear; near the middle of "From," clarinetist Blaise Siwula and trumpeter Roy Campbell start a duet that briefly harks back to the early days of New Orleans jazz, before they break into freer improvisations. The rest of the track introduces different combinations of instruments chatting back and forth, with Dave Miller's arrhythmic but quite evocative drumming pushing the musical action forward.

The rest of the music is essentially free group improvisation that keeps one foot in composition, while expanding its wings on flights of wild fancy.

Despite their various origins, the instruments do not sound at odds with each other but are surprisingly harmonious. Silverman's oud and Cambell's flute, on "Ness," weave an Arabic sounding melody, while Siwula's free alto sax and Tom Swafford's atonal violin add a clearly modern western flavor. On "Thought" Campell's brassy flugelhorn, backed by Silverman on hand percussion, resonates well with Tom Shad's Turkish Cumbus, creating a 1001 Nights-like fairy tale of a melody.

With this challenging yet immensely rewarding disc, Silverman and his septet of accomplished musicians have created a work of unique mysticism, drawing upon multiple different cultures to for a near-masterpiece of improvised music."-Hrayr Attarian, All About Jazz


Get additional information at All About Jazz

Artist Biographies:

"Roy Sinclair Campbell Jr. (September 29, 1952 - January 9, 2014) was an American trumpeter frequently linked to free jazz, although he also performed rhythm and blues and funk during his career.

Born in Los Angeles, California, in 1952, Campbell was raised in New York City. At the age of fifteen he began learning to play trumpet and soon studied at the Jazz Mobile program along with Kenny Dorham, Lee Morgan and Joe Newman. Throughout the 1960s, still unacquainted with the avant-garde movement, Campbell performed in the big bands of the Manhattan Community College. From the 1970s onwards he performed primarily within the context of free jazz, spending some of this period studying with Yusef Lateef.

In the early 1990s Campbell moved to the Netherlands and performed regularly with Klaas Hekman and Don Cherry. In addition to leading his own groups, he performed with Yo La Tengo, William Parker, Peter Brotzmann, Matthew Shipp, and other improvisors. Upon returning to the United States he began leading his group Other Dimensions In Music and also formed the Pyramid Trio, a pianoless trio formed with William Parker. He performed regularly as part of the Festival of New Trumpet Music, which is held annually in New York City.

He died in January 2014 of hypertensive atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease at the age of 61."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Campbell_Jr.)
8/16/2017

"Blaise Siwula. Born 02-19-1950 in Detroit, MI.

I have been involved with the arts for most of my life. I began studying the alto sax at the age of 14 in middle school and have been playing/ studying in varying capacities since.

After periodic explorations of drama, poetry, architecture, visual art, a B.F.A. and a M.F.A. and a stint in Europe, I arrived in NYC in 1989 with my family and an alto sax.In the past 26 years I have been actively involved with the NYC Improv Scene: Amica Bunker, the Improvisers Collective and most recently the C.O.M.A. series at ABC No-Rio since 1998.

As a composer I have incorporated traditional musical scoring techniques with visual/graphical and performance oriented presentations and a simple philosophy- sound and vision are inter-related in life and art resulting in communication.

As a performer I have been honored to perform in a number of states in the USA and Canada as well countries such as Great Britain, Holland, Switzerland, Germany, Romania, Poland, Croatia, Morocco, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, The Philippines, Portugal, Mexico, Slovenia, Denmark, South Korea and Austria.

Although primarily an alto saxophonist I play a number of reed, flute, percussion and string instruments at varying degrees of competency per composition requirements and recently began including computer altered sound files in performance as background for improvisation.Currently my instruments of choice are:Alto, Tenor & Soprano SaxophonesBb Clarinet, Eb Alto Cl & Bb Bass Cl

This has resulted in my performing and collaborating with an extreme variety of types of improvised musicians including...

David Haney, Guitarist Sten Hostfalt Saulo Ferreira, Danny Martin, Paul LeGrande & Stuart King, Doug Walker's Alien PlanetscapesCecil Taylor's Ptonagas Microtone composer and guitaristJohn Gilbert William Hooker's Ensembles, Judy Dunaway's Balloon TrioRowe Siwula Miano Trio Dialing Privileges Trio w. Dom Minasi & John Bollinger BCJ Trio with Chris Welcome & John McCellan A + B2 with Robert Marsh Market Street Jazz w. Ken Simon, Hal Onserud, Karen Borca & Jackson Krall Dagaz Trio w. William Parker & Michael Evans BE Duet w. Evan Gallagher Tan Dun Katsuyuki Itakura - "Big Hearts" and now "New York Encuentro" Michael Khoury The Improvisors Collective (NYC), Glass Factory w. Donald Miller, Duet with Ravi Padmanabha, The B & B Duet w. Bob Meyer Erie Nites w. Robyn Siwula, HSM w. Gary Hassay & Toshi Makihara, Trio with Eyal Maoz & Dale Miller, The Jeff Platz Ensemble Joseph Scianni, Jeffrey Hayden Shurdut Music in the Foreground w. Ge-Suk Yeo, the Slam trio w. Adam Lane & Toshi Makihara, The Lower Eastside Social Club w. Matty Paris, Gregory Wildes, Christobal Jacques and Drew Gardner, Expositions of Freedom Now! w. Vattel Cherry & Jeff Arnal, MAMBO MANTIS w. Bonnie Kane, Chris Welcome & Ray Sage, Guitarist Carsten Radtke

I have been honored also to work with these musicians and composers - Peter Kowald, John Fischer, Perry Robinson, Newman Taylor Baker, John Voigt, Wilber Morris Clare De Brunner, Joseph Daly, Vincent Chancey, Christoph Irmer, Maria de Alvear, Theo Jorgesmann, Ralff Schussel, Hans Tammen, Killick, Phillip Lang, Tini Hagler, Michael Zerang, Fred Lomberg Holmes, Stan Nishimura, Nils Gerod, Jesse Henry, Louis Barnes, Mark Hennen, Rashid Bakar, Pelthead, Fly, Frank Keeley, Christian Begemann, Pieter Prije, Olaf Rupp, Harri Sjorstrom, Richard Keene, Tor Snyder, Bob Littman, Matt Weston, Eric Zinman, Glynnis Lomon, Tatsuya Nakatani, Dominic Duval, Jay Rosen, Heiner Metzger, Hans Schüttler, Likas Ligeti, Sarah Weaver, James Ilgenfritz, Motoko Shimizu, Ed Chang, Brian Osborne, Raoul Björkenheim, Sei Mguel, Fala Mariam, Margarida Garcia, Manuel Mota, Ernesto Rodrigues, Guilherme Rodrigues, Moe Staiano, Hill Greene, Joe McPhee, Daniel Carter, Christopher Forbes, Bern Nix, Paul Hession, Francois Grillot, Yuki Saga, Ryusaku Ikezawa, Jiro Shoda, Syd Smart, Mario Rechtern, Jacques Nobili, Hannes Schweiger, Hermann Stangassinger, John Edwards, Mick Beck, Paul Moore, Mike Fortune, Kit Demos, Gary Wallen, Django Carranza, Brian Groder, Jordon Schranz, Mike Pride, Alan Wilkinson

-Blaise Siwula Website (http://www.blaisesiwula.com/bio/)
8/16/2017

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