The Squid's Ear Magazine

  Rapid SSL





  American Express

© 2002-2018, Squidco LLC

Settles, Brian and Central Station: Secret Handshake (Engine)

Saxophonist Brian Settles' quartet with pianist Neil Podgurski, bassist Corcoran Holt, drummer Jeremy Carlstedt, jazz that freely moves towards and away from the rhythm, with bursts of raw Ayler-like blowing.

Price: $11.16


In Stock

Shipping Weight: 1.00 units

Quantity in Basket: None

Log In to use our Wish List
product information:

Label: Engine
Catalog ID: e041
Squidco Product Code: 14567

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2011
Country: USA
Packaging: Cardboard foldover
Recorded on October 5th, 2010 at 853 Rehearsal Studios in New York, NY by Steven Walcott.


Brian Settles-saxophone

Neil Podgurski-piano

Corcoran Holt-bass

Jeremy Carlstedt-drums

Jean Marie Collatin-Faye-percussions

Click an artist name above to see in-stock items for that artist.

Highlight an instrument above
and click here to Search for albums with that instrument.

Artist Biographies:

"Saxophonist and composer Brian Settles has established himself as a rising force with a long-term artistic vision. Settles blends the outwardly engaging with the deeply personal, reconciling his intimate command of the jazz lineage with a commitment to his own experimental voice. He performs regularly with some of modern jazz's leading groups, including Tomas Fujiwara and The Hook Up, Michael Formanek's Cheating Heart and Big Band Kolossus, and bands led by Jonathan Finlayson. Settles has also accompanied the likes of Gil Scott-Heron, Jason Moran and Marc Cary.

Settles' two albums as a leader feature entirely original music, highlighting his buoyant, pithy compositions: Secret Handshake (Engine, 2011) featured the five-piece Central Union, and was named the best jazz record of the year by both the Washington City Paper and Settles followed up with Folk (Engine, 2013), a trio album acclaimed by Something Else Reviews and the NYC Jazz Record.

Born and raised in Washington, DC, Settles picked up the saxophone in the eighth grade and was immediately enamored. The next year he enrolled in the prestigious Duke Ellington School of the Arts, where he spent the next four years studying with renowned saxophonist and educator Davey Yarborough. During his time at Ellington, Settles began a ten-year mentorship with tenor saxophone legend Stanley Turrentine. This exposure to the life of a veteran performer and recording artist solidified his plans of becoming a jazz musician.

Settles went on to attend the New School for Jazz & Contemporary Music, where he was mentored by bass legend Reggie Workman and saxophonist Arnie Lawrence, the school's founder. After graduating from the New School, Settles joined forces with bassist, Tom Abbs and drummer, Chad Taylor. Under Abbs' leadership, the trio (Frequency Response) performed throughout New York City and in 2003 (with the addition of cellist, Okkyung Lee) recorded the album Conscription (CIMP - 288).

In 2008 Settles earned a master's degree in music from Howard University, where he studied with the great saxophonist Charlie Young. While at Howard, Settles joined drummer Tomas Fujiwara in The Hook Up. The quintet has since released three well-received albums, and has been celebrated by the New York Times as "a gathering of sharp young improvisers ... insightful [and] invigorating." And Settles has earned a growing chorus of acclaim on his own: In 2015 he was listed as a rising star on tenor saxophone, in Downbeat magazine's critics poll, and he earned an artist fellowship from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. All the while he's worked with young musicians as a teacher and mentor at the Washington Jazz Arts Institute, where he has served since 2002.

To anyone who's heard it, Settles' warbling, viscous tone is immediately recognizable, and his solos are never too quick with their emotional payoff. Inky and warm, his playing can seem to hover weightlessly while simultaneously boring down. Critic Michael J. West calls Settles "absolutely heart-stopping on the bandstand ... known for his versatility, expressiveness, and dizzying imagination" (Washington City Paper)."

-Brian Settles Website (

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

1. Bison 6:33

2. Zui Quan 7:15

3. Secret Handshake 6:14

4. Anti-War March 3:48

5. Earth 8:09

6. Soulnimsky 5:12

7. Gardenia 3:37

8. Grandmother Tells of Africa 6:05
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Brian Settles brings his buttery, powerful sax tone to his Engine Studios debut recording, Secret Handshake. He also brings a longstanding playing relationship with the other musicians who make up Central Union. The listener hears mindful improvisation from those years of playing together, and the unexpected compositional dynamics of an inside/outside leader.

"Zui Quan" (track 2) exemplifies Settles' approach. Zui Quan is Chinese for drunken fist or drunkard's boxing, and the tune is conceived as a jazz emulation of this martial arts form. Anchored by a staggering groove that breaks down occasionally, the players freely move towards and away from the rhythm, with bursts of raw Ayler-like blowing. There is a structure to anchor the tune, but it's not arrow straight and there is a lot of other energy mixed in. The tunes "Bison" and "Gardenia" are straighter than this one, while "Earth" and "Secret Handshake" are more free. The tune "Earth" was conceived as a depiction of the state of this planet ranging from the peaceful to the chaotic.

The record combines two sets - one with piano, bass, and drums (tracked at an opera singers' rehearsal space near Carnegie Hall) and a smaller more rhythmic session with drums, percussion and sax. Secret Handshake deftly respects the jazz tradition while trying to extend it at the same time."-Engine

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
Quintet Recordings

Other Releases With These Artists:
Recommended & Related Releases:
Finlayson, Jonathan
3 Times Round
(Pi Recordings)
Other Recommended Releases:
Giant Dwarf

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought:
Laubrock, Ingrid
(Firehouse 12 Records)
Brotzmann / van Hove / Bennink
(Corbett vs. Dempsey)
Moon, The
Good And Evil
Gato Libre
Fox, Danny
Wide Eyed
(Hot Cup Records)
Gray / Hobbs / Hostetter / Braman
Lawnmower II
(Clean Feed)
Amado, Rodrigo / Mota / Faustino / Ferrandini
Wire Quartet
(Clean Feed)
Donarier's, Matthieu / Albert van Veenendaal's Planetarium
The Visible Ones
(Clean Feed)
Miguel, Sei
Salvation Modes
(Clean Feed)
Revis, Eric / Taylor / McHenry / Jones / Branford Marsalis
In Memory of Things Yet Seen
(Clean Feed)
Kesten, Christian & Mark Trayle / Annette Krebs
Berlin series No. 2
(Another Timbre)
Iddon, Martin
(Another Timbre)
Partial (Noe Cuellar and Joseph Clayton Mills)
(Another Timbre)
P-Project (Alexius / Hertenstein / Nies / Grammss / eDincise / SeDincise / Bondi)
(Creative Sources)
Chrysakis, Thanos / Wade Matthews / Javier Pedreira
Garnet Skein
(Aural Terrains)
Coombes, Nigel / Steve Beresford
White String's Attached (1979)
Lacy, Steve
Avignon and After - 2 (1972-7) Volume 2
N.E.W. (Noble / Edwards / Ward)
Motion [VINYL]
(Dancing Wayang)
Kullhammar / Aalberg / Zetterberg
Basement Sessions Vol. 2
(Clean Feed)
Dessen, Michael Trio
Resonating Abstractions
(Clean Feed)
Hebert, John Trio
(Clean Feed)
Bauder, Matt and Day in Pictures
(Clean Feed)
Davis, Matt / Phil Durrant / Mark Wastell
Confront Collectors Series
Mendoza, Enrique
Below Sea Level

Search for other titles on the Engine label.