Joy Mega is a group of outstanding NYC avant-jazz artists led by bassist and vocalist Jason Ajemian who has created a unique album of melodic free jazz pop songs that challenges the constraint of genres.
Label: New Atlantis
Catalog ID: NA-CD-005
Squidco Product Code: 16782
Packaging: Jewel Tray
Jason Ajemian-bass, vocals
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1. Deeds / Belief
2. Little Rain / Big Story
3. Slow Bird
4. Big Sky #5
5. A Glance Shifts
6. No Shout
7. Tomar Sol
8. Pleasure Fountaints
9. We Are Place
10. 100 Rainy Days
11. I'm In Love With A Navajo Boy
12. Kocham Las [I Love The Forest]
14. Leaves Rainbow
Related Categories of Interest:
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
Melodic and Lyrical Jazz
sample the album:
"Joy Mega is a group comprised of the crème (aka butter) of the NYC avant-jazz underground, realizing a set of coruscating, transcendent, cosmic pop music penned by bassist and vocalist, Jason Ajemian.
Jason is widely known for his work with kin within the world of skewed, creative pop music. He's racked credits with Josephine Foster in Born Heller, Hush Arbors, Helado Negro, and perhaps most recently, backing Devendra Banhart at the Governor's Ball NYC. He also boasts a rep as a heavyweight improvisor, having worked in Marc Ribot's Sun Ship, Matana Robert's CoinCoin, Rob Mazurek's Chicago Underground Trio and Exploding Star Orchestra, and many more.
The contrasts and points of intersection between these seemingly separate musical orbits have made for some great music thus far. His efforts as a leader (three releases from his quintet, Jason Ajemian & the HighLife, on New Atlantis Records, and Smokeless Heat, a jazz record released in 2008 on Delmark, among many others) further emphasize this duality, and Forever is Something Inside You, Joy Mega's New Atlantis debut, is no different- a fresh distillation of a strong spirit in the American creative music underground.
Ajemian brought Joy Mega together in 2007, to explore the possibilities presented by incorporating vocals into an improvising ensemble- an idea which, for the most part, marks a departure from established convention in the improvised music community. Having recently relocated to New York City from Chicago, the group encompasses players from both cities. Saxophonist Matthew Bauder and drummer Chad Taylor now live in New York, but are old friends + collaborators from his days in Chicago. Guitarist Mary Halvorson and violinist Jessica Pavone, both known within their home of New York and beyond, are a perfect match for the group's expansive sound. The arrangements leave ample room for melodic exploration. Songs expand and contract, each voice breathing in additional layers of lush melody.
Forever is Something Inside You traverses a tremendous breadth of stylistic ground, challenging the constraints of 'genre' music and offering a new noise in the process."-New Atlantis
• Show Bio for Mary Halvorson
"One of improvised music's most in-demand guitarists, Mary Halvorson has been active in New York since 2002, following jazz studies at Wesleyan University and the New School. Critics have called her "a singular talent" (Lloyd Sachs, JazzTimes), "NYC's least-predictable improviser" (Howard Mandel, City Arts), "one of the most exciting and original guitarists in jazz-or otherwise" (Steve Dollar, Wall Street Journal), and "one of today's most formidable bandleaders" (Francis Davis, Village Voice). The Philadelphia City Paper's Shaun Brady adds, "Halvorson has been steadily reshaping the sound of jazz guitar in recent years with her elastic, sometimes-fluid, sometimes-shredding, wholly unique style."
After three years of study with visionary composer and saxophonist Anthony Braxton, Ms. Halvorson became an active member of several of his bands, including his trio, septet and 12+1tet. To date, she appears on six of Mr. Braxton's recordings. Ms. Halvorson has also performed alongside iconic guitarist Marc Ribot, in his bands Sun Ship and The Young Philadelphians, and with the bassist Trevor Dunn in his Trio-Convulsant. Over the past decade she has worked with such diverse bandleaders as Tim Berne, Taylor Ho Bynum, Tomas Fujiwara, Ingrid Laubrock, Myra Melford, Jason Moran, Joe Morris, Tom Rainey and Mike Reed.
As a bandleader and composer, one of Ms. Halvorson's primary outlets is her longstanding trio, featuring bassist John Hébert and drummer Ches Smith. Since their 2008 debut album, Dragon's Head, the band has been recognized as a rising star jazz band by Downbeat Magazine for five consecutive years. Ms. Halvorson's quintet, which adds trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson and alto saxophonist Jon Irabagon to the trio, has released two critically acclaimed albums on the Firehouse 12 label: Saturn Sings and Bending Bridges. Most recently she has added two additional band members-tenor saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock and trombonist Jacob Garchik-to form a septet, featured on her 2013 release Illusionary Sea. Ms. Halvorson also co-leads a longstanding chamber-jazz duo with violist Jessica Pavone, the avant-rock band People and the collective ensembles Thumbscrew and Secret Keeper."-Mary Halvorson Website (http://www.maryhalvorson.com/bio/)
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