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A member of alto saxophonist Steve Coleman's band Five Elements, this is the debut album from a trumpeter widely admired for his ability to tackle cutting-edge musical concepts with confidence and great skill.
 

Finlayson, Jonathan & Sicilian Defense
Moment and the Message

Finlayson, Jonathan & Sicilian Defense: Moment and the Message (Pi Recordings)
Label: Pi Recordings    
Released in: USA    


"Moment and the Message is the long-awaited debut from Jonathan Finlayson, one of the most sought after young trumpeters in jazz. A member of alto saxophonist Steve Coleman's band Five Elements, Finlayson is widely admired for his ability to tackle cutting-edge musical concepts with aplomb. In just the last four years, his playing has been featured on an astonishing three albums that were named #1 album of the year by The New York Times: alto saxophonist Steve Lehman's Travail, Transformation and Flow (Pi 2009), Steve Coleman and Five Elements' Harvesting Semblances and Affinities (Pi 2010) and David Virelles's Continuum (Pi 2012).

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. "Jonathan's always had a lot of music in him; he was one of these prodigy cats" Coleman says. "I think I may have first heard him play when he was about 13 years old and then again in 2000, during a workshop that I gave at Berkeley High School, when I also met (trumpeter) Ambrose Akinmusire. I was impressed with what they could do, so Jonathan and Ambrose began coming by my crib to discuss music, to work on music theory and study history. I then called Jonathan for a week-long gig in Chicago later that year, and we've been playing together ever since."

Finlayson's own challenging music operates in some of the same rhythmically complex terrain as Coleman's, but is distinguished by its puzzle-like musical forms. An avid chess player, Finlayson named his band Sicilian Defense after the oft-used chess opening move, and there is a sense of deductive logic to many of his compositions. For example, "Ruy Lopez" is a musical transcription of the first eight moves of the popular chess opening. The improvisations also reflect that of a game of chess, where the back and forth dialogue between the two soloists mimic the moves and countermoves of two chess players. The piece "Circus" draws on a childhood memory that is informed by the music of the Henry Threadgill, with whom Finlayson performed in Threadgill's premier of his piece "Dimples" in 2012. "Tensegrity" is a study in counterpoint that is harmonically reminiscent of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach."-Pi



"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)
3/20/2017

"Miles Okazaki is an American musician based in New York City. He is known for his technical command of the guitar, his rhythmic approach to improvisation and composition, and his work in contemporary music theory. Okazaki grew up in Port Townsend, Washington, a small town near the Olympic Mountains in the Pacific Northwest. He got his first classical guitar at age 6, and began playing regular gigs on electric guitar by age 14, after studying for several years at the Centrum Jazz Workshop. He received many awards as a guitarist throughout his early years, and eventually placed 2nd in the Thelonious Monk International Guitar Competition.

Okazaki moved to New York City in 1997 to pursue a career in music and begin writing his own material. His teacher on guitar at this time was Rodney Jones, who recommended him for his first gig, with Stanley Turrentine. Okazaki spent four years on the road with vocalist Jane Monheit, while also writing and rehearsing the music for his first album, Mirror, which was released independently. The album received a "Critics Pick" in the New York Times, calling it "a work of sustained collectivity as well as deep intricacy." He expanded to a septet for his second album, Generations, described by pianist Vijay Iyer "the sonic equivalent of Escher or Borges, but with real emotional heft,". His third album, Figurations, was recorded live with a quartet, and was selected as one of the New York Times top ten albums of 2012, described by Ben Ratliff as "slowly evolving puzzles of brilliant jazz logic." In January of 2016 Okazaki recorded a new album, Trickster, that will be released later this year. Okazaki wrote, produced, and illustrated these albums.

As a sideman, Okazaki works in many areas, ranging from Standard repertoire to experimental music. Recently he has been seen most frequently as the guitarist for Steve Coleman and Five Elements. In the last few years, he has worked with a wide variety of artists including Kenny Barron, Jonathan Finlayson, Amir El Saffar, Adam Rudolph, Dan Weiss, Linda Oh, Darcy James Argue, Jane Monheit, Vijay Iyer, Francois Moutin, Doug Hammond, Carl Allen, Ohad Talmor, Mary Halvorson, John Zorn, Jen Shyu, Mark Giuliana, Patrick Cornelius, Rajna Swaminatham, Matt Mitchell, Craig Taborn, Tony Moreno, Ben Wendel, Donny McCaslin, and many others.

Okazaki currently teaches guitar at the University of Michigan. His first book, Fundamentals of Guitar, was released in 2015. He has also taught at the Banff Institute, The New School, Queens College, The Juilliard School, Amsterdam Conservatory, and many other institutions. Outside of guitar, his past teachers include Anthony Davis (composition), Ganesh Kumar (Carnatic percussion), and Kendall Briggs (counterpoint). His awards and grants include Chamber Music America's "New Works" (2007), Chamber Music America's "French-American Jazz Exchange" (2009), the Jazz Gallery and Jerome Foundations Residency Commission (2010), the American Music Center's Composer Assistance Program (2011), the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation's US Artists International grant (2012), the Rockefeller Brother's Fund Artist Residency (2012), and the Jazz Gallery Mentorship program (2015). He holds degrees from Harvard University, Manhattan School of Music, and The Juilliard School, and lives in Brooklyn, NY."

-Miles Okazaki Website (http://www.milesokazaki.com/biography/)
3/20/2017





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Product Information:

UPC: 808713004823

Label: Pi Recordings
Catalog ID: PI 48
Squidco Product Code: 17666

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2013
Country: USA
Packaging: Digipack
Recorded at Brooklyn Recording, Brooklyn on September 23rd, 2012 by Andy Taub.

Personnel:

Jonathan Finlayson-trumpet

Miles Okazaki-guitars

David Virelles-piano

Keith Witty-bass

Damiob Reid-drums

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Track Listing:

1. Circus 7:42

2. Lo Haze 7:54

3. Ruy Lopez 5:43

4. Carthage 7:10

5. Tensegrity 5:37

6. Le Bas-Fond 5:56

7. Tyre 4:14

8. Fives And Pennies 12:40

9. Scaean Gates 6:07






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