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Shyu, Jen + Mark Dresser: Synastry (Pi Recordings)

Vocalist Jen Shyu and master bassist Mark Dresser in a duo exploring opportunities for space and sound, texture and styles, through informed songs that include texts by Li Po and Ge Hong.
 

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product information:


UPC: B00576U9N0

Label: Pi Recordings
Catalog ID: PI 39
Squidco Product Code: 15000

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2011
Country: USA
Packaging: Digipack
Recorded on April 12th, 2010 and May 17th, 2009 at University of California, San Diego by Tom Erbe.


Personnel:

Jen Shyu-voice

Mark Dresser-bass

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and click here to Search
track listing:


1. Slope A Dope 5:23

2. Midnight Of Quietness, Recover Of Life 2:06

3. Mauger Time 5:51

4. Synastry 7:15

5. Floods, Flames, Blades 4:53

6. Mattress On A Stick 2:48

7. Chant For Theresa Hak Kyung Cha 8:14

8. Lunation 5:30

9. Kind Of Nine 4:56

10. Telemotions 7:06

11. Night Thoughts 4:43




Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Jazz
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
Pi Records
Duo Recordings

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descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Synastry is a partnership between the ground breaking vocalist Jen Shyu and master bassist Mark Dresser that demonstrates new possibilities for vocal and bass improvisation. They reveal a remarkable chemistry together, evoking a range of emotions from plaintively wistful to emotionally intense, with lyrical imagery that is fantastically surreal. A member since 2003 of influential saxophonist Steve Coleman's band Five Elements, Shyu is well known for her tonally exacting and rhythmically incisive singing. On Synastry, accompanied only by Dresser's acoustic bass, her voice is thrown into stark relief, giving full evidence to her complete control of microtonal shadings, her deep sense of rhythm, and highly developed ear for lyrical and melodic improvisation. In addition to English and Chinese, she sings in a wholly improvised vocalese that utilizes phonemes derived from her fluency of seven different languages learned through her research of indigenous music in Indonesia, East Timor, China, Taiwan, Brazil and Cuba. Dresser, who is well known for using extended technique to tap the full sonic potential of the acoustic bass, envelops Shyu's voice in an aura of intimate mystery.

What makes Synastry special is the musical cohesion between Shyu and Dresser. Shyu says of their partnership: "When Mark and I did our first session, we found that it opened so many new opportunities for space and sound exploration that we never felt the need to include other instruments. Together we really push the possibilities of each of our instruments, exposing their full range in texture and musical function in a way that we feel is unique in the lineage of voice and bass duos."

A central figure in avant garde jazz for more than three decades, Dresser has appeared on over 130 albums including nearly 30 as leader or co-leader. He has recorded and performed with Anthony Braxton, Tim Berne, Anthony Davis, Dave Douglas, Joe Lovano, Roswell Rudd, Henry Threadgill, Dawn Upshaw, John Zorn and many others. He's currently in the cooperative group Trio M with pianist Myra Melford and drummer Matt Wilson. Dresser contributes five of the eleven compositions on Synastry. Just as important, he brings with him virtuoso technique and the imagination to put it all to work. Not content just to provide support, Dresser constantly varies his attack, often quick-changing between arco and pizzicato while paying constant attention to texture, timbre and dynamics. Shyu said of Dresser: "His musical vocabulary is huge and his entire range is developed. He plays with such a vast palette of colors that it pushes me to do the same with my voice. Every gesture of his is so evocative that it is very easy to go beyond the usual elements of music making with him. When singing with Mark, I feel like I am both falling inward into the sound and exploding outward from it simultaneously." For an example, listen to "Chant for Theresa Hak Kyung Cha" for how he continuously shifts between earthy rumbles and soft whispers to evoke the words like "stone," "dust," "powder," "sediment," and" moisture" and brings aural color to "dark," "blue-black," "pale," "luminant," and "stillness" found in Cha's text.

A child prodigy on the violin and piano, Shyu was accomplished enough to place sixth at the Stravinsky International Piano Competition at the age of 11. She also studied ballet and theater and later majored in classical voice at Stanford University. She sings in multiple languages, including English, Portuguese, Spanish, Mandarin, Taiwanese, Tetum, and Pinuyumayan (a Taiwanese indigenous language). She also regularly accompanies herself on piano; erhu, a Chinese spike fiddle; Taiwanese moon lute; and East Timorese lakado.

Rather than pursuing the traditional path for a jazz singer, Shyu is seeking her own way, fearlessly using her prodigious technique to create art with no limits with regard to musical genre. Though grounded in classical, opera and jazz training, her overarching goal is to carve out new improvisational terrain for the voice through integrating traditional and indigenous music discovered through rigorous research and fieldwork. Her research trips have taken her to Cuba to study traditional dance and music; Taiwan, her father's homeland, where she studied Hengchun minyao, an indigenous folk music; China where she researched shuochang, a form of narrative performance that involves a combination of singing and speaking; and East Timor to research and document the music of her mother's birthplace. All this while an integral member of Steve Coleman and Five Elements, appearing most recently on the critically lauded release Harvesting Semblances and Affinities (Pi, 2010) and the upcoming The Mancy of Sound (Pi, 2011). True to form, just as she is finding wider recognition, she will be spending the next year in Solo, Indonesia on a Fulbright Scholarship to study sindhenan, the traditional singing of Javanese gamelan music.

Dresser said about Shyu: "Working with Jen is not like working with a singer; it is more like working with one of the top players on the scene who happens to sing; her musicianship is incredible and her improvisational ability so highly developed. She is also a musical scholar in the best sense of the word." Steve Coleman said: "She is a case study for substance over appearance. When most musicians, particularly singers, would be focusing on career moves, Jen is taking the time in the prime of her life to do musical, personal and cultural research, and to develop the kinds of understanding and tools that she will be able to use for the rest of her life."

Jen Shyu is the first woman and first vocalist, and Mark Dresser the first bassist to record as a leader on Pi for good reason. They both bring cutting-edge technique along with a wealth of imagination and creativity along with an unwillingness to settle for easy moves. You can't tell Shyu that she shouldn't challenge herself to sing with the same attention to harmonic movement, rhythmic assurance and pitch precision as master instrumentalists any more than you can tell Dresser to just play walking bass lines. Together they demonstrate that jazz singing doesn't have to be trapped in a world of musty clichés; that there exists an exciting new path to the future of this art form."-Pi Recordings


Artist Biographies:

Mark Dresser is a Grammy nominated, internationally renowned bass player, improviser, composer, and interdisciplinary collaborator. At the core of his music is an artistic obsession and commitment to expanding the sonic, musical, and expressive possibilities of the contrabass. He has recorded over one hundred thirty CDs including three solo CDs and a DVD. From 1985 to 1994, he was a member of Anthony Braxton's Quartet, which recorded nine CDs and was the subject of Graham Locke's book Forces in Motion (Da Capo). He has also performed and recorded music of Ray Anderson, Jane Ira Bloom, Tim Berne, Anthony Davis, Dave Douglas, Osvaldo Golijov, Gerry Hemingway, Bob Ostertag, Joe Lovano, Roger Reynolds, Henry Threadgill, Dawn Upshaw, John Zorn. Dresser most recent and internationally acclaimed new music for jazz quintet, Nourishments (2013) his latest CD (Clean Feed) marks his re-immersion as a bandleader. Since 2007 he has been deeply involved in telematic music performance and education. He was awarded a 2015 Shifting Foundation Award and 2015 Doris Duke Impact Award. He is Professor of Music at University of California, San Diego.

- Website (https://www.mark-dresser.com/bio)
4/25/2017

Other Releases With These Artists:
Dresser, Mark Seven (Mitchell / Ehrlich / Boroff / Dessen / White / Black)
Sedimental You
(Clean Feed)
Bradford, Bobby / Hafez Modirzadeh / Mark Dresser / Alex Cline
Live At The Open Gate [VINYL]
(NoBusiness)
Lehman, Steve Camouflage Trio
Interface [VINYL 2 LPs]
(Clean Feed)
Nabatov, Simon / Mark Dresser / Dominik Mahnig
Equal Poise
(Leo)
Nabatov, Simon / Mark Dresser
Projections
(Clean Feed)
Eisenstadt, Harris (w/ Moore, Schoenbeck, Dresser)
Golden State II
(Songlines)
Braxton, Anthony / Quartet
(Santa Cruz) 1993 1st Set [REPRESS]
(Hatology)
Eisenstadt / Mitchell / Dresser / Schoenbeck
Golden State
(Songlines)
Dresser, Mark Quintet
Nourishments
(Clean Feed)
Cline, Alex
For People in Sorrow [CD / DVD]
(Cryptogramophone)
Bradford / Dresser / Ferris
Live in LA
(Clean Feed)
Dresser, Mark
Sonic Brotherhood: DTFP by Five - Israel 2009
(Kadima)
Deep Tones for Peace
Kadima Triptych Series
(Kadima Triptych)
ElSaffar, Amir and Hafez Modirzadeh
Radif Suite
(Pi Recordings)
Hemingway, Gerry Quintet
Demon Chaser
(Hatology)
Dresser, Mark & Denman Maroney
Live in Concert
(Kadima)
Kaufmann / Dresser / Eisenstadt
Starmelodics
(Nuscope)
Dresser, Mark / Harkins, Ed / Schick, Steven
House of Mirrors
(Clean Feed)
Fox, Billy
The Uncle Wiggly Suite
(Clean Feed)
Lossing, Russ / Maneri, Mat / Dresser, Mark
Metal Rat
(Clean Feed)
Rudd, Roswell / Dresser, Mark
Air Walkers
(Clean Feed)
Dresser, Mark
Unveil
(Clean Feed)
Braxton, Anthony Quartet
(Victoriaville) 1992
(Victo)
Ostertag, Bob
Verbatim, Flesh and Blood
(Seeland)
Dresser, Mark / Fred Frith / Ikue Mori
Later...
(Victo)
Dresser, Mark / Denman Maroney
Duologues
(Victo)
Shyu, Jen & Jade Tongue
Sounds and Cries of the World
(Pi Recordings)
Nabatov, Simon / Mark Dresser
Projections
(Clean Feed)
Coleman, Steve & Five Elements
Functional Arrhythmias
(Pi Recordings)
Virelles, David
Continuum
(Pi Recordings)
Modirzadeh, Hafez
Post-Chromodal Out!
(Pi Recordings)
Threadgill Zooid, Henry
Tomorrow Sunny / The Revelry, Spp
(Pi Recordings)
ElSaffar, Amir
Inana
(Pi Recordings)
Williams, Arthur (w/ Peter Kuhn / Toshinori Kondo / William Parker / Denis Charles)
Forgiveness Suite [VINYL]
(NoBusiness)
Kuhn, Peter Trio (w/ Kyle Moti / Nathan Hubbard)
The Other Shore
(NoBusiness)
Threadgill, Henry Ensemble Double Up
Old Locks and Irregular Verbs
(Pi Recordings)
Berne's, Tim Snakeoil
You've Been Watching Me
(ECM)
Sharp Trio, Elliott
Aggregat
(Clean Feed)
Lehman, Steve Trio, feat. Matt Brewer and Damion Reid
Dialect Fluorescent
(Pi Recordings)
Sao Paulo Underground (Featuring Rob Mazurek)
Tres Cabecas Loucuras
(Cuneiform)
Slugfield (Nilssen-Love / Marhaug / Ratkje)
Slime Zone
(PNL)
Rowe, Keith / John Tilbury
E.E. Tension And Circumstance
(Potlatch)
Paul, Leah
Bike Lane
(Skirl)
Quatuor Bozzini
A Chacun Sa Miniature
(Collection QB)
Orelli 6, Marco von
Close Ties On Hidden Lanes
(Hatology)
Savoldelli, Boris
Insanology
(MoonJune)
Realisation Trio, The (Paul Dunmall / Nick Jurd / Jim Bashford)
The Realisation Trio
(FMR)
Parker, Evan / Lee / Evans
The Bleeding Edge
(psi)
Sakata, Akira
The Tale of the Heike
(Doubtmusic)
Noetinger, Jerome / Will Guthrie
Face Off
(erstwhile)
Tagaq, Tanya
Anuraaqtuq - Le Vent (The Wind)
(Victo)
Element Choir, The & William Parker
At Christ Church Deer Park
(Barnyard)
Berger, Karl / Werner Hasler / Gilbert Paeffgen
Hasler / Paeffgen / Berger
(NoBusiness)
McPhee, Joe and Michael Zerang
Creole Gardens (A New Orleans Suite)
(NoBusiness)
Golia Quartet, Vinny
Take Your Time
(Relative Pitch)
Smith, LaDonna / Davey Williams / Andrea Centazzo
Velocities: The Complete Recordings vol. 1
(Ictus)
Sharp, Elliott / Andrea Centazzo
Snowplow!
(Ictus)
NOW Orchestra, The (with guests George Lewis, Vinny Golia)
Wowow
(Spool)
Shiurba, John
Triplicate
(Spool)
Lopes, Luis
Lisbon Berlin Trio
(Clean Feed)
Hug, Charlotte
Slipway to Galaxies (Solo Viola & Voice)
(Emanem)
Saunders / Thomas / Parkinson / Davies / Chase / Davies (Edges Ensemble)
divisions that could be autonomous but that comprise the whole
(Another Timbre)
Shockabilly
Live At 10 Foot Henry's
(Chadula)
London Improvisers Orchestra
Lio Leo Leon
(psi)
Schubert, Frank Paul and Matthias Muller
Foils
(FMR)
Indigo Trio + Michel Edelin
The Ethiopian Princess Meets The Tantric Priest
(RogueArt)
Bang, Billy Survival Ensemble
Black Man's Blues / New York Collage [2 CDs]
(NoBusiness)
Robinson, Eugene S. & Philippe Petit
The Crying of Lot 69
(Monotype)
Scanner & David Rothenberg
You Can't Get There from Here
(Monotype)
EMJO (European Jazz Movement Orchestra)
EMJO Live in Coimbra
(Clean Feed)
Hirsch, Shelley & Kazuhisa Uchihashi
DUETS - 10 years after
(Innocent Records)
Coleman, Steve and Five Elements
The Mancy of Sound
(Pi Recordings)
Doneda / Kocher / Schiller
///Grape Skin
(Another Timbre)
Capece, Lucio / Birgit Ulher
Choices
(Another Timbre)
Rampersaud / Shaw / Neal / Martin / Krakawiac
Halcyon Science130410
(Barnyard)
Goss, Stephen
Northern Lights
(FMR)
Allum & Prevost
Penumbrae
(Matchless)
O'Leary, Mark
Ellipses
(FMR)
Denley / Lauzier / Martel / Myhr / Normand
Transition de Phase
(Tour de Bras)
Rodrigues / Rodrigues / Goncalves /...
suspensao [2 CDs]
(Creative Sources)
Charles, Xavier & Terrie Ex
Addis
(Terp (Konkurrent/Fishtank))
Parker, Evan / Leimgruber, Urs
Twine
(Clean Feed)
Angles
Epileptical West - Live in Coimbra
(Clean Feed)
Gjerstad / Lonberg-Holm / Sen / Nilssen-Love
The Cello Quartet
(FMR)
OffonOff
Clash
(Smalltown Superjazzz)
Borbetomagus / Hijokaidan
Both Noises End Burning
(Victo)
Anderson, Fred / Bankhead, Harrison
The Great Vision Concert
(Ayler)
Recommended & Related Releases:
Dresser, Mark Seven (Mitchell / Ehrlich / Boroff / Dessen / White / Black)
Sedimental You
(Clean Feed)
Bradford, Bobby / Hafez Modirzadeh / Mark Dresser / Alex Cline
Live At The Open Gate [VINYL]
(NoBusiness)
Lehman, Steve Camouflage Trio
Interface [VINYL 2 LPs]
(Clean Feed)
Nabatov, Simon / Mark Dresser / Dominik Mahnig
Equal Poise
(Leo)
Eisenstadt, Harris (w/ Moore, Schoenbeck, Dresser)
Golden State II
(Songlines)
Braxton, Anthony / Quartet
(Santa Cruz) 1993 1st Set [REPRESS]
(Hatology)
Eisenstadt / Mitchell / Dresser / Schoenbeck
Golden State
(Songlines)
Dresser, Mark Quintet
Nourishments
(Clean Feed)
Cline, Alex
For People in Sorrow [CD / DVD]
(Cryptogramophone)
Bradford / Dresser / Ferris
Live in LA
(Clean Feed)
Dresser, Mark
Sonic Brotherhood: DTFP by Five - Israel 2009
(Kadima)
Deep Tones for Peace
Kadima Triptych Series
(Kadima Triptych)
ElSaffar, Amir and Hafez Modirzadeh
Radif Suite
(Pi Recordings)
Hemingway, Gerry Quintet
Demon Chaser
(Hatology)
Dresser, Mark & Denman Maroney
Live in Concert
(Kadima)
Kaufmann / Dresser / Eisenstadt
Starmelodics
(Nuscope)
Dresser, Mark / Harkins, Ed / Schick, Steven
House of Mirrors
(Clean Feed)
Fox, Billy
The Uncle Wiggly Suite
(Clean Feed)
Lossing, Russ / Maneri, Mat / Dresser, Mark
Metal Rat
(Clean Feed)
Rudd, Roswell / Dresser, Mark
Air Walkers
(Clean Feed)
Dresser, Mark
Unveil
(Clean Feed)
Braxton, Anthony Quartet
(Victoriaville) 1992
(Victo)
Ostertag, Bob
Verbatim, Flesh and Blood
(Seeland)
Dresser, Mark / Fred Frith / Ikue Mori
Later...
(Victo)
Dresser, Mark / Denman Maroney
Duologues
(Victo)
Other Recommended Releases:
Shyu, Jen & Jade Tongue
Sounds and Cries of the World
(Pi Recordings)

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