California trombonist Michael Dessen's trio with drummer Dan Weiss & bassist Chris Tordini in a cycle of 7 pieces integrating grooves, colors and textures in intricate compositions yielding adventurous improvisations.
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Label: Clean Feed
Catalog ID: CF 222
Squidco Product Code: 14481
Packaging: Cardstock Gatefold Sleeve
Recorded in Lisbon, Portugal on August 6th, 2010 at Namouche Studios by Joaquim Monte.
Michael Dessen-trombone, electronics
Christopher Tordini-double bass
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1. Fossils and Flows 8:17
2. Three Spirals 10:40
3. And We Steal from the Silkworm 5:30
4. Forget the Pixel 10:30
5. Licensed Unoperators (for Lisle) 6:10
6. Herdiphany 3:40
7. The Utopian Tense of Green (for Mariangeles) 13:25
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"Though outside the New York spotlight, California-based trombonist Michael Dessen has crafted a unique body of music, garnering a steady stream of acclaim for his work as a leader and for his collaborations with some of the best musicians on the scene today. Critics praised his previous trio release on Clean Feed for its compositional range, creative use of electronics, and above all the musicians' extraordinary playing.
Instead of rushing out a follow-up, Dessen spent two years simmering new music, letting the materials mature organically, and the result is worth the wait: Forget The Pixel, a cycle of seven diverse pieces, integrates an astonishing array of grooves, colors and textures, grounded by intricate compositional details and adventurous improvisations.
With Dessen on trombone and laptop joined by drummer Dan Weiss and bassist Chris Tordini, the trio revels in vibrant lines, but can also spin fascinating landscapes out of microscopic details, bringing different types of temporal flow into a rich conversation. Weiss, acclaimed for his own groups as well as his sideman work with musicians like Rudresh Mahanthappa and Dave Binney, cracks open Dessen's compositions with his phenomenal rhythmic fluency and imagination as well as an acute sense of color. Tordini, also an important contributor to emerging NY scenes as well a sideman to masters like Greg Osby, grounds the music with his rich sound and his patient, compositional touch. Finding the threads between raucous play and delicate abstractions, Forget the Pixel is an absorbing journey not to be missed."-Clean Feed
• Show Bio for Michael Dessen
Michael Dessen is a composer/trombonist who creates music for improvisers and explores the artistic potentials of technologies including live electronics, telematics and networked scores.
Dessen's electro-acoustic trio features bassist Christopher Tordini and drummer Dan Weiss, and has been praised by critics for its unique blend of otherworldly electronics, dynamic improvisation and wide-ranging compositions. His compositions for the trio have been supported by awards and commissions from New Music USA, Chamber Music America and the Fromm Foundation, and he has released three trio albums on Clean Feed Records, the first featuring Tyshawn Sorey on drums. Dessen's most recent work for the trio, Somewhere In The Upstream (2014), is a concert-length composition dedicated to Yusef Lateef that will be released in 2017.
Both with his own trio and many other collective projects, Dessen has focused on creating works for improvisers, including networked "scorestreams" that are displayed dynamically on screens for performers to interpret. As an improviser, he collaborates with diverse bands in addition to performing solo on digibone, an animistic world of slide trombone and live electronics. Dessen has also been involved in numerous telematic concerts that link performers in distant locations via high-definition networking technologies. He has composed new works specifically for the telematic stage, and has co-directed many large-scale telematic projects, including Virtual Tour 2013, a 3-concert series recently released on DVD that Dessen co-directed with Mark Dresser, featuring a core quartet in California with Nicole Mitchell and Myra Melford performing with other renowned musicians in Zurich, New York and Massachusetts.
Dessen's teachers include Yusef Lateef, George Lewis, and Anthony Davis, and he is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music (BM performance), the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (MM jazz composition), and the University of California, San Diego (PhD in Music, Critical Studies and Experimental Practices). His writings on music include articles in The Other Side of Nowhere: Jazz, Improvisation and Communities in Dialogue (Wesleyan University Press), the online journal Critical Studies in Improvisation / Etudes Critique en Improvisation, and Musicworks magazine, as well as a Preface to Yusef Lateef's Songbook. His publications have focused especially on the role of African American traditions within late-twentieth century experimental music worlds. Since 2006, Dessen has been a faculty member at the University of California, Irvine, where he co-founded a new PhD program in Integrated Composition, Improvisation and Technology (ICIT).
Michael Dessen lives in southern California with visual artist Mariángeles Soto-Díaz and their son.-Michael Dessen Website (http://mdessen.com/)
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