Steve Coleman and Five Elements with Tim Albright, Tyshawn Sorey, Jen Shyu, &c., in an album incorporating the saxophonist's lifetime of researchg into cycles found in nature and astronomy.
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Label: Pi Recordings
Catalog ID: PI 38
Squidco Product Code: 14756
Recorded at Systems Two, Brooklyn, NY on February 23rd, 2007 and July 25th, 2007 by Joseph Marciano.
Steve Coleman-alto sax
Ramon Garcia Perez-percussion
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1. Jan 18 6:41
2. Formation 1 7:05
3. Fire-Ogbe (Odú Ifá Suite) 5:21
4. Earth-Idi (Odú Ifá Suite) 6:15
5. Air-Iwori (Odú Ifá Suite) 6:36
6. Water-Oyeku (Odú Ifá Suite) 7:59
7. Formation 2 6:56
8. Noctiluca (Jan 11) 12:20
Related Categories of Interest:
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
sample the album:
"The Mancy of Sound is the follow-up release from influential alto saxophonist and composer Steve Coleman to last year's critically acclaimed Harvesting Semblances and Affinities. That album was a statement of purpose that announced the return of Coleman to popular consciousness. The CD was named by Ben Ratliff in the New York Times as his #1 album of 2010 and was also voted among the top ten releases of 2010 in both the Jazz Times and Village Voice Critics Polls. His performance was thought by many to be the highlight among the almost forty bands that performed at the June 2010 Undead Festival in New York. Of course Coleman has never really been away. Despite not having a well-distributed release in the United States for nine years, he has maintained an active schedule performing internationally. Just as important, his influence on successive generations of jazz musicians continues to grow. Interviewed in The Wall Street Journal, pianist and composer Vijay Iyer said: "It's hard to overstate Steve's influence. He's affected more than one generation, as much as anyone since John Coltrane." You'll find Coleman's mark all over the advances that jazz has made rhythmically since he helped spearhead the M- Base movement some 25 years ago.
The Mancy of Sound finds Coleman at his creative peak, incorporating a lifetime of research into cycles found in nature and astronomy into his musical methods. He had been working on a musical version of this approach for some time, but was able to further develop this concept during his month-long curatorial residency in 2007 at The Stone, the New York performance space. The music on this release as well as on Harvesting is the direct result of those explorations.
The centerpiece of the album is the Odú Ifá Suite, which is made up of the compositions Ogbe, Idi, Iwori and Oyeku, representing Fire, Earth, Air and Water, which are symbolized by the colors red, brown, green and blue, respectively. Ifá refers to a divination and philosophical system of the Yoruba- speaking people of West Africa, which can also be found in the African diasporic cultures of Brazil, Cuba, and Haiti. The dot patterns on the cover of this CD are a traditional Yoruba symbolic codification of the sixteen Odú Ifá. Coleman utilized these patterns, as well as the character of the elements, the directions, and the colors as the foundation of the rhythmic, melodic and harmonic form underlying the four compositions of this suite. For example, the overall rhythmic form of each composition is a direct transcription of the dot patterns and the order in which they occur counter-clockwise in the diagram; and the musical colors of the melodic modes is a reflection of the character of the elements. The Ifá Suite was originally composed for vocalist Cassandra Wilson who first provided Coleman with the idea of composing music inspired by the Odú; Ifá.
Jan 18 and Noctiluca (Jan 11) are based on the eight lunar phases as viewed from a specific place at particular moments. Coleman took the intermediary step of corresponding the eight lunar phases with the eight trigrams of the I-Ching, which symbolized the lunar phases in a form that could be explored musically. This approach is explained in great detail in his article, The Lunation Cycle as a Point of Departure for Musical Ideas in the book Arcana II (HipsRoad / Tzadik Publishing, 2007).
The two treatments of Formation are taken from a movement in a Coleman composition for saxophone and orchestra originally commissioned and performed by the American Composers Orchestra. They masterfully demonstrate Coleman's use of counterpoint in his writing for horns and voice.
This edition of his longtime band, Five Elements, is perhaps his strongest ever. Of particular note are Jonathan Finlayson, who has been with the group for the last eight years and is one of the most highly regarded young trumpeters in jazz, playing on such critically acclaimed albums as Steve Lehman's Travail, Transformation, and Flow and Mary Halvorson's Saturn Sings; and Jen Shyu, whose vocals - with its precise and beautifully nuanced articulation and rhythmic precision - Coleman employs as an equal part in the horn section. Completely defying the traditional role of jazz singing, Shyu's passionate vocals bring an emotional element to this complex and cutting-edge music while pushing the possibilities of jazz singing into new territory. She will be featured on Pi Recordings' next release, Synastry, a duo with bassist Mark Dresser. They are backed by two drummers, a configuration unusual in jazz: Tyshawn Sorey and Marcus Gilmore, both considered the state-of-the-art. For Coleman the idea was to achieve with trap drummers in the jazz tradition what he has previously only experienced playing with the Cuban folkloric drumming troupe AfroCuba de Matanzas; something that he describes as a "multi- directional rhythmic sound," where propulsion is generated in several directions at once, with each drummer's individual parts interlocked in overlapping rhythmic cycles while providing one cohesive sound. The band is joined by Ramón García Pérez on percussion whose chants in Lucumi, a Cuban variant of the Yoruba language, are related to the Orishas that each song in the Ifá Suite is dedicated to. Vijay Iyer also said about Coleman: "What sits behind his influence is this global perspective on music and life. He has a point of view of what he does and why he does it.... He deserves to be placed in the pantheon of pioneering artists." The Mancy of Sound reveals in Coleman an uncompromising artist devoted to the continued expansion of jazz's breadth of view."-Pi Recordings
• Show Bio for Jonathan Finlayson
"Jonathan Finlayson has been recognized by the New York Times as "...an incisive and often surprising trumpeter," who is "...fascinated with composition." Born in 1982 in Berkeley, CA, Finlayson began playing the trumpet at the age of ten in the Oakland public school system. He came under the tutelage of Bay Area legend Robert Porter, a veteran trumpeter from the bebop era who took Finlayson under his wing; he was often seen accompanying Porter on his gigs about town and sitting in on the popular Sunday nights jam session at the Bird Cage. He subsequently attended the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music where he studied with Eddie Henderson, Jimmy Owens and Cecil Bridgewater.
Finlayson is a disciple of the saxophonist/composer/conceptualist Steve Coleman, having joined his band Five Elements in 2000 at the age of 18. He is widely admired for his ability to tackle cutting-edge musical concepts with aplomb. Finlayson has performed and recorded in groups led by Steve Lehman, Mary Halvorson, Craig Taborn, Henry Threadgill and played alongside notables such as Von Freeman, Jason Moran, Dafnis Prieto and Vijay Iyer."-Jonathan Finlayson Website (http://jonathanfinlayson.com/biography.html)
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• Show Bio for Thomas Morgan
"Thomas Morgan (born 14 August 1981 in Hayward, California) is an American jazz musician (upright bass, cello) in contemporary jazz.
Morgan began playing the cello 7 years of age, before switching to upright-bass at 14. In 2003 he received his bachelor's degree in Music from the Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with Harvie Swartz and Garry Diall. He also took lessons with Ray Brown and Peter Herbert. Morgan worked with David Binney, Steve Coleman, Joey Baron, Josh Roseman, Brad Shepik, Steve Cardenas, Timućin ahin, Kenny Wollesen, Gerald Cleaver, Adam Rogers and Kenny Werner throughout his career. He is also cooperating with Jakob Bro, Dan Tepfer, Jim Black, John Abercrombie, Masabumi Kikuchi and the Sylvie Courvoisier-Mark Feldman Quartet. Morgan lead his own trio."-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Morgan_(bassist))
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• Show Bio for Tyshawn Sorey
"Tyshawn Sorey (born July 8, 1980 in Newark, New Jersey) is an American musician and composer who plays drum set, percussion, trombone and piano.
Since graduating from William Paterson University, Sorey has been a sought-after musician in many different musical idioms. He is both a performer and composer, and has had works reviewed in The Wire, The New York Times, The Village Voice, Modern Drummer and Down Beat. In August 2009, Sorey was given the opportunity to curate a month of performances at the Stone, a New York performance space owned by John Zorn. He was selected as an Other Minds 17 (2012).
Sorey recently completed a Master of Arts in composition at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. In the fall of 2011, he began pursuing doctoral work in composition at Columbia University.
To date, Sorey has released four albums as a leader: That/Not (2007, Firehouse 12 Records), Koan (2009, 482 Music), Oblique (2011, Pi Recordings) and Alloy (2014, Pi Recordings). He has recorded or performed with musicians including Wadada Leo Smith, Steve Coleman, Anthony Braxton, John Zorn, Steve Lehman, Joey Baron, Muhal Richard Abrams, Pete Robbins, Vijay Iyer, Dave Douglas, Butch Morris and Sylvie Courvoisier, among many others."-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyshawn_Sorey)
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