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Fraser, Nick: Towns and Villages (Barnyard)

A quartet session of composition and improvisation headed by drummer Nick Fraser with Tony Malaby (sax), Andrew Downing (cello) and Rob Clutton (bass), exploring the essence of freedom and abstraction in contemporary jazz.
 

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product information:


UPC: 777320172020

Label: Barnyard
Catalog ID: BR0330
Squidco Product Code: 17384

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2013
Country: Canada
Packaging: Digipack
Recorded on February 18th and 19th, 2012 by Jean Martin and Jeremy Darby at Canterbury Music Studios, Toronto.


Personnel:

Nick Fraser-drums

Tony Malaby-tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone

Andrew Downing-cello

Rob Clutton-doublebass

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track listing:


1. Prescott: The Fort Town 2:22

2. Sketch #10 3:47

3. Tricycle 4:28

4. Sketch #12 6:39

5. Revolution 4:57

6. Albs 4:30

7. Spencerville: Home Of The Heritage Grist Mill 3:43

8. Sketch #9 4:19

9. Ballad For Lydia 3:55

10. Bicycle 2:24

11. "?" 5:09

12. Hundred Mile House, Pop. 1885 3:50
Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Jazz
Toronto Area Improvisation
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
Quartet Recordings
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descriptions, reviews, &c.

"A jazz musician who does many things well, and Nick Fraser does many things very well indeed, could easily lose sight of himself in the clamour for his services. No musician is in greater demand on the Toronto scene these days than the 36-year-old drummer and yet Fraser, to his credit, has established a fascinating body of work that's entirely his own, one that documents a consistently thoughtful, left-of-centre perspective on contemporary jazz.

Beginning with his first trio CD, Owls in Daylight (1997), continuing through his recordings with the quintet Drumheller - Drumheller (2005), Wives (2006) and Glint (2009) - and turning now to Towns and Villages, a quartet session with the New York saxophonist Tony Malaby, Fraser has explored the nature of freedom and abstraction in jazz, moving unassumingly, yet imaginatively, in, out of, between and beyond the music's various traditions.

It's in his compositions, which are typically the slightest of melodic turns, sometimes with an Ornette-ish curl - just a few notes repeated, and repeated again, to both catchy and compelling effect. And it's in his drumming, which is measured more in velocity than in volume, but measured all the same - a fast, shifting undertow of precisely struck and carefully shaped textures and rhythms.

As an aside, it's worth musing that Drumheller, also the name of a town in southern Alberta, is the better part of an anagram for "Hell of a drummer." Enough said.

Fraser's apparent fascination with Canada's smaller communities continues on Towns and Villages, which features group improvisations named for Prescott and Spencerville in eastern Ontario and Hundred Mile House in southeastern British Columbia; a musician does not tour Canada as often as Fraser has without getting to know its highways, byways and stopovers.

Fraser originally intended Towns and Villages to present Tony Malaby in the company of two bassists, Torontonians Andrew Downing and Rob Clutton, a format, he suggests, that was inspired by Ornette Coleman's recent quartet and by such recordings as Bill Dixon's two volumes of Vade Mecum, Joe Lovano's Universal Language and Dewey Redman's Soundsigns; still other recordings by Albert Ayler and the young Tony Williams also come to mind, and in fact Ayler and Williams seem no less like fleeting points of reference for Towns and Villages than Coleman, Dixon, Lovano and Redman.

In the event, Downing, who is also an accomplished cellist, proposed the alternative instrumentation heard here; his cello serves either as a keening second voice to Malaby's taut, sculpted tenor and soprano solos, all sinew and strain, or as complementary counterweight to the heft and purpose of Clutton's steadfast bass lines.

Fraser in turn makes the most, and the best, of his resources to give each of the 12 pieces on Towns and Villages - no matter how free, no matter how abstract, from the rumble and grind of Prescott: The Fort Town to the dark, stirring beauty of Ballad for Lydia - its own sense of logic, proportion and clarity.-Mark Miller


Artist Biographies:

"Nick Fraser has been an active and engaging presence in the Toronto new jazz and improvised music community since he moved there from Ottawa in 1995. He has worked with a veritable "who's who" of Canadian jazz and improvised music including Justin Haynes, Mike Murley, Rich Underhill, P.J. Perry, Phil Dwyer, Michael Snow, John Oswald, Andrew Downing, Jean Martin, Christine Duncan, Lina Allemano, Quinsin Nachoff, Dave Restivo, Jim Vivian, David Braid, Ryan Driver, David Occhipinti, William Carn, Nancy Walker, Kieran Overs, Kelly Jefferson, John Geggie, Scott Thomson, Marilyn Lerner, David Mott, Lori Freedman, Jean Derome, Ron Samworth and Kirk MacDonald.

In addition, he has had the opportunity to perform and/or record with such international artists as Tony Malaby, Michael Moore, Bobby Shew, Donny McCaslin, Marilyn Crispell, Anthony Braxton, Joe McPhee, William Parker, Jean-Luc Ponty, Bela Fleck, Dave Liebman, Joe Lovano, John Scofield, Wynton Marsalis, David Binney, Steve Turre, Matt Welch, Bill Carrothers and Bill Mays. Nick's recorded works as a leader include Owls in Daylight (1997), Nick Fraser and Justin Haynes are faking it (2004) and Towns and Villages (2013).

For 10 years, he co-led the co-operative group Drumheller with Brodie West, Rob Clutton, Eric Chenaux and Doug Tielli, who released four critically acclaimed CDs between 2005 and 2013. Other projects that occupy Nick regularly are Ugly Beauties (with Marilyn Lerner and Matt Brubeck), Peripheral Vision, the Lina Allemano Four and Titanium Riot.

Nick is a founding member of The Association of Improvising Musicians of Toronto, a non-profit organization dedicated to the Toronto improvising community."

-Nick Fraser Website (http://nickfraserthedrummer.com/bio.html)
12/8/2017

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

"Tony Malaby (born January 12, 1964 in Tucson, Arizona) is a jazz tenor saxophonist. Malaby moved to New York City in 1995 and has played with several notable jazz groups, including Charlie Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra, Paul Motian's Electric Bebop Band, Mark Helias's Open Loose, Fred Hersch's Trio + 2 and Walt Whitman project, and bands led by Mario Pavone, Chris Lightcap, Bobby Previte, Tom Varner, Marty Ehrlich, Angelica Sanchez, Mark Dresser, and Kenny Wheeler. Other collaborators have included Tom Rainey, Christian Lillinger, Ben Monder, Eivind Opsvik, Nasheet Waits, and Michael Formanek. His first album as a co-leader was Cosas with Joey Sellers."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Malaby)
12/8/2017

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

"Andrew Downing is a Toronto based double bass player, cellist, composer and educator born in London, Ontario in 1973. He plays primarily in the creative jazz scene in Canada, but also performs classical chamber music, improvised music, folk and roots music, and world music. He practices the unusual craft of tuning his bass in fifths an octave lower than a cello. His teachers include Jack Winn, Dave Young, Don Thompson, Shauna Rolston and Joel Quarrington.

His own projects span a wide variety of styles and practices. Most recently, he has begun a collaboration in İstanbul, Turkey with ud (Turkish lute) player Güç Başar Gülle that incorporates Ottoman Classical music in a collection of new compositions for ud, cello, percussion and kaval (a Turkish folk instrument). Their first album Anahtar will be released in October of 2013. He also has a collaborative multi-media project with Canadian songwriter John Southworth and visual artist Yesim Tosuner called Easterween featuring songs written by John and arranged by Andrew for his 7-piece chamber ensemble. He also leads his chamber-jazz ensemble Melodeon, which plays live scores for silent films such as The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Phantom of the Opera (with choir), Maciste in Hell, Impossible Voyage and The Shock.

As a composer, Andrew has written pieces for Nordic Folk group Ensemble Polaris, banjo player Jayme Stone, The Vancouver Bach Choir, Ensemble Meduse, Toca Loca and The Prince George Symphony, and has written arrangements for Patricia O'Callaghan, The Gryphon Trio, The Annex Quartet and The Art of Time Ensemble.

He has won two Juno awards, one for his own recording Blow The House Down with his former group Great Uncles of the Revolution, and one with the Vancouver-based group Zubot and Dawson. He has also won two West Coast Music Awards, a Socan Award, and the Grand Prix de Jazz from the Montreal Jazz Festival.

Andrew currently teaches double bass, composition and improvisation at the University of Toronto and has taught at Wilfred Laurier University, the Banff Centre's Jazz Workshop and the Creative Music Workshop in Halifax."

-Andrew Downing Website (http://www.andrewdowning.com/bio.html)
12/8/2017

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

"Rob Clutton is a composer/performer with two solo bass recordings, Dubious Pleasures and Suchness Monster, on the Rat-Drifting label. In 2015 the Cluttertones released Ordinary Joy, a recording of original compositions, on the Healing Power label. Earlier independent releases of original compositions include Holstein Dream Pageant and Tender Buttons. Rob has participated in collaborative projects including Handslang, This Moment, Drumheller, Clutton/Michelli/West, Kavli, and Sweet Session. As a side person, other long- term projects have included the Steve Koven Trio, NOJO, John Millard and Happy Day, Lina Allemano's Titanium Riot, the Ryan Driver Sextet, Pete Johnston's See Through 2, Tim Posgate's Jazzstory, Nick Fraser Quartet featuring Tony Malaby, Ronda Rindone's Quorum, the David Mott Quintet, Bill Grove Quartet, Mark Segger Sextet, AimToronto Orchestra, Shurum Burum Jazz Circus, Faint Praise, and the Winged Marsupials. Touring with these and other projects has included Europe, Canada, the U.S., Mexico, Ecuador, The Caribbean, and Japan."

-Rob Clutton Website (http://www.robclutton.com/)
12/8/2017

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

Other Releases With These Artists:
Fraser, Nick (w/ Malaby / Downing / Clutton)
Is Life Long?
(Clean Feed)
Helias, Mark / Tom Rainey / Tony Malaby
The Signal Maker
(Intakt)
Malaby, Tony / Mat Maneri / Daniel Levin
New Artifacts
(Clean Feed)
Malaby, Tony Paloma Recio
Incantations
(Clean Feed)
Eisenstadt, Harris
Old Growth Forest
(Clean Feed)
Bathysphere (with Bishop / Malaby / Ho Bynum / &c)
Bathysphere
(Driff Records)
Fraser, Nick (feat. Tony Malaby and Kris Davis)
Too Many Continents
(Clean Feed)
Lightcap, Chris Bigmouth
Epicenter
(Clean Feed)
Malaby, Tony / Juan Pablo Carletti / Christopher Hoffman
Nino/Brujo [VINYL]
(NoBusiness)
Malaby's, Tony TubaCello
Scorpion Eater
(Clean Feed)
Drumheller
Sometimes Machine
(Barnyard)
Fujii, Satoko New York Orchestra
Shiki
(Libra)
Ajemian, Jason / Tony Malaby / Rob Mazurek / Chad Taylor
A Way a Land of Life [VINYL]
(NoBusiness)
Southworth, John
Human Cry
(Barnyard)
Smith, Ches and These Arches (Smith / Berne / Malaby / Halvorson / Parkins)
Hammered
(Clean Feed)
Barnyard Drama
Christmas Singalong Volume 8
(Barnyard)
Barnyard Drama
Christmas Singalong Volume 7
(Barnyard)
Sanchez, Angelica Quintet
Wires and Moss
(Clean Feed)
Barnyard Drama
Christmas Singalong Volume 6
(Barnyard)
Element Choir, The & William Parker
At Christ Church Deer Park
(Barnyard)
AIMToronto Orchestra
Year of the Boar
(Barnyard)
Malaby, Tony
Tamarindo Live
(Clean Feed)
Southworth, John
Human Cry
(Barnyard)
Attias, Michael
Twines of Colesion
(Clean Feed)
Rent, The (Thomson / Neal / Fraser/ Brenders / Hood)
Musique de Steve Lacy
(Ambiances Magnetiques)
Lightcap, Chris' Big Mouth
Deluxe
(Clean Feed)
Lewis, Downing & Martin
On a Short Path from Memory to Forgotten
(Barnyard)
Braxton, Anthony & the AIMToronto Orchestra
Creative Orchestra (Guelph) 2007
(Spool)
Dijkstra, Jorrit
Pillow Circles
(Clean Feed)
Lerner / Brubeck / Fraser
Ugly Beauties
(Ambiances Magnetiques)
Various Artists
Barnyard Drama Christmas Singalong Vol. 5
(Barnyard)
Martin, Jean & Colin Fisher
Little Man on the Boat
(Barnyard)
Dunmall, Paul Sun Quartet
Ancient and Future Airs
(Clean Feed)
Sanchez, Angelica
Life Between
(Clean Feed)
Fujii, Satoko Orchestra New York
Summer Suite
(Libra)
Fujii Orchestra, Satoko
South Wind
(Libra)
Recommended & Related Releases:
Fraser, Nick (w/ Malaby / Downing / Clutton)
Is Life Long?
(Clean Feed)
Helias, Mark / Tom Rainey / Tony Malaby
The Signal Maker
(Intakt)
Malaby, Tony / Mat Maneri / Daniel Levin
New Artifacts
(Clean Feed)
Malaby, Tony Paloma Recio
Incantations
(Clean Feed)
Eisenstadt, Harris
Old Growth Forest
(Clean Feed)
Bathysphere (with Bishop / Malaby / Ho Bynum / &c)
Bathysphere
(Driff Records)
Fraser, Nick (feat. Tony Malaby and Kris Davis)
Too Many Continents
(Clean Feed)
Lightcap, Chris Bigmouth
Epicenter
(Clean Feed)
Malaby, Tony / Juan Pablo Carletti / Christopher Hoffman
Nino/Brujo [VINYL]
(NoBusiness)
Malaby's, Tony TubaCello
Scorpion Eater
(Clean Feed)
Fujii, Satoko New York Orchestra
Shiki
(Libra)
Ajemian, Jason / Tony Malaby / Rob Mazurek / Chad Taylor
A Way a Land of Life [VINYL]
(NoBusiness)
Southworth, John
Human Cry
(Barnyard)
Barnyard Drama
Christmas Singalong Volume 8
(Barnyard)
Barnyard Drama
Christmas Singalong Volume 7
(Barnyard)
Sanchez, Angelica Quintet
Wires and Moss
(Clean Feed)
Barnyard Drama
Christmas Singalong Volume 6
(Barnyard)
Malaby, Tony
Tamarindo Live
(Clean Feed)
Attias, Michael
Twines of Colesion
(Clean Feed)
Rent, The (Thomson / Neal / Fraser/ Brenders / Hood)
Musique de Steve Lacy
(Ambiances Magnetiques)
Lightcap, Chris' Big Mouth
Deluxe
(Clean Feed)
Braxton, Anthony & the AIMToronto Orchestra
Creative Orchestra (Guelph) 2007
(Spool)
Dijkstra, Jorrit
Pillow Circles
(Clean Feed)
Lerner / Brubeck / Fraser
Ugly Beauties
(Ambiances Magnetiques)
Various Artists
Barnyard Drama Christmas Singalong Vol. 5
(Barnyard)
Martin, Jean & Colin Fisher
Little Man on the Boat
(Barnyard)

Search for other titles on the Barnyard label.