Black Host (Cleaver / Cooper-Moore / Seabrook / Jones / Niggenkemper)
Life in the Sugar Candle Mines
Drummer Gerald Cleaver leads this New York quintet through eight original compositions that fuse improvisation with modern jazz, post-punk, and electrified noise.
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Label: Northern Spy
Catalog ID: NS039
Squidco Product Code: 17828
Gerald Cleaver-drums, sound design
Darius Jones-alto saxophone
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Related Categories of Interest:
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
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sample the album:
"Sometimes it can be a challenge to rise above the flood of interesting music available in the new-release (let alone reissue) coffers and bring a vibe to the table that's robust enough to grab one by the throat, offering seamless introspection within past and present. Black Host, a New York quintet nominally led by in-demand drummer Gerald Cleaver, is an improvising ensemble prepared to do just that. Cleaver is joined here by pianist Cooper-Moore, alto saxophonist Darius Jones, bassist Pascal Niggenkemper and guitarist Brandon Seabrook on a program of eight original compositions that blend modern jazz, free music, psych, post-punk and electrified noise with painstaking detail and heady abandon. The historically obsessed might name-check Albert Ayler (especially the groups with pianist Bobby Few and guitarist Henry Vestine), the early '70s music of Norwegians Jan Garbarek and Terje Rypdal, or Gary Windo with Carla Bley, but Black Host present dynamic, incisive and utterly contemporary music. Life in the Sugar Candle Mines is the group's first record - hopefully one among several - a reverb-drenched and incisive stew of rhapsodic piano, searing alto and fractured guitar over rhythms that are alternately chunky and airy, rendered with a "live" energy that cuts through the cones on your speakers."-Northern Spy
• Show Bio for Gerald Cleaver
"Gerald Cleaver (born May 4, 1963) is an African-American jazz drummer from Detroit, Michigan. Cleaver's father is drummer John Cleaver Jr., originally from Springfield, Ohio, and his mother was from Greenwood, Mississippi. Gerald had six older siblings. Cleaver joined the jazz faculty at the University of Michigan in 1995. He has performed or recorded with Joe Morris, Mat Maneri, Roscoe Mitchell, Miroslav Vitou , Michael Formanek, Tomasz Sta ko, Franck Amsallem and others.
Under the name Veil of Names, Cleaver released an album called Adjust on the Fresh Sounds New Talent label in 2001. It featured Maneri, Ben Monder, Andrew Bishop, Craig Taborn and Reid Anderson and was a Best Debut Recording Nominee by the Jazz Journalists Association. Cleaver currently leads the groups Uncle June, Black Host, Violet Hour and NiMbNl as well as working as a sideman with many different artists."-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerald_Cleaver_(musician))
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• Show Bio for Cooper-Moore
"As a composer, performer, instrument builder/designer, storyteller, teacher, mentor, and organizer, Cooper-Moore [b. August 31, 1946] has been a major, if somewhat behind-the-scenes, catalyst in the world of creative music for over 40 years. As a child prodigy Cooper-Moore played piano in churches near his birthplace in the Piedmont region of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. His performance roots in the realm of avant jazz music date to the NYC Loft Jazz era in the early/mid-70s. His first fully committed jazz group was formed in 1970 - the collective trio Apogee with David S. Ware and drummer Marc Edwards. Sonny Rollins asked them to open for him at the Village Vanguard in 1973, and they did so with aplomb. A studio recording of this group was made in 1977, and issued as Birth of a Being on hatHut under Ware's name in 1979 (re-mixed and re-issued in expanded form on AUM Fidelity in 2015!). Following an evidently rather trying European tour with Ware, Beaver Harris, and Brian Smith in 1981, Cooper-Moore returned home and completely destroyed his piano, with sledgehammer and fire, in his backyard. He didn't play piano again until some years after, instead focusing his energies from 1981-1985 on developing and implementing curriculum to teach children through music via the Head Start program. Returning to New York in 1985, he spent a great part of his creative time working and performing with theatre and dance productions, largely utilizing his hand-crafted instruments. It was not until the early 90s, when William Parker asked him to join his group In Order To Survive, that Cooper-Moore's pianistic gifts were again regularly featured in the jazz context. In the early 'aughts the group Triptych Myth was his own first regular working jazz group in decades and together they blazed some trails and released two albums: one rich formative, and one exquisite. A destined creative re-union with David S. Ware in the Planetary Unknown quartet, the Digital Primitives trio with Assif Tsahar & Chad Taylor, and continued work with William Parker followed. Cooper-Moore's creative life continues well-strong and unabated into the present day. He will be/was the Lifetime Achievement Honoree at the 22nd iteration of Vision Festval, NYC on May 29, 2017."-Aum Fidelity (http://www.aumfidelity.com/cooper-moore.html)
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• Show Bio for Brandon Seabrook
"Described by Spin Magazine as "An apocalyptic, supersonic general of the banjo..." Brandon Seabrook has made a name for himself in the New York avant-garde music scene as an explosive guitar and banjo performer, relentlessly committed to immediacy and precision.
Seabrook honed his terror-inducing riffage skills at the New England Conservatory in Boston. He has since performed extensively in North and South America, Mexico and Europe, as a solo artist, bandleader and collaborator. He has been summoned by the likes of Anthony Braxton, Elliot Sharp and Joey Arias for his unpredictably spiked approach to improvisation and impeccable caterwauling. He has been profiled in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Magnet Magazine, Fretboard Journal, NPR and The Wire.
Seabrook Power Plant, the nuclear trio donned "a manic clusterfuck of merciless banjo torture" by the Village Voice, is Brandon's brainchild, blending the brutal energy of punk-rock with the intricate execution of through-composed avant jazz. The band has released two albums to much critical acclaim. Time Out New York praised the band's eponymous debut as "not only one of the most baffling experimental releases of the year... also one of the best."
Brandon is an accomplished solo artist, named Best Guitarist in New York City by the Village Voice 2012. In 2014, New Atlantis Records released his first solo album titled Sylphid Vitalizers. Noisey called the album a "dissonant guitar army...(with) mind-blowing prog-rock complexities - all at mind-numbing breakneck speed."
Brandon is currently working on two new albums with his noise-prog trio, Needle Driver and a new sextet featuring immoral, percussive compositions under the name Die Trommel Fatale. This recent work is a poly-rhythmic exploration of the dark side of the drum, layering cello, bass, electronics, voice and guitar against dichotomous drummers."-Brandon Seabrook Website (http://www.brandonseabrook.com/bio/)
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• Show Bio for Pascal Niggenkemper
"New York City-based German-French bassist, composer and improviser Pascal Niggenkemper is a performing and recording artist active on the creative music scene in the US and in Europe.
From 1999-2005 he was musicaly active in Cologne having studied jazz & classical double bass at the Hochschule für Musik. In 2005 he received the DAAD award and moved to New York.
From 2008 to 2010 Pascal led the PNTrio with Tyshawn Sorey and Robin Verheyen. (CD "pasàpas" Konnex 2008 & "urban creatures" JazzHausMusik 2010). The trio toured extensively in Europe performing at the Jazzcologne Festival, Jazzherbst Konstanz and at the Kennedy Center in Washington. Recordings for the WDR and the BR Radio.
In cooperation with Jazzdor Strasbourg-Berlin, Pascal formed the septet vision7 that performed at Jazzdor Strasbourg-Berlin, Vive le Jazz in Cologne, Jazz à la Cité in Paris and at the Pori Jazz in Finland. (CD 'Lucky Prime' clean feed records Sept 2013)
In September 2011 Pascal released with Simon Nabatov and Gerald Cleaver the CD/LP upcoming hurricane on NoBusiness Records which is listed among 'Albums of the year' 2011 in the 'The New York City Jazz Record'. The trio performed in Canada and the USA.
He recently recorded a new solo program called: 'look with thine ears' music for bass & preparations was premiered at the Jazzdor Festival in Strasbourg in November 2013. The CD was released in March 2015 on clean feed records. He performed for the France Musique radio broadcast by Anne Montaron called 'a l'improviste'.
In 2014 he presented the double trio 'le 7eme continent' with the program 'talking trash' at the Vive le Jazz festival in Cologne, Germany and the concert was broadcast by WDR3 radio. Their CD was released in May 2016 on clean feed records and the group performed in France, Belgium and Germany.
Pascal is co-leading the groups baloni with Frantz Loriot viola and Joachim Badenhorst clarinets (CD 'fremdenzimmer' 2011, 'Belleke' 2014 & 'Ripples' 2015 clean feed records) PascAli a duo for two prepared basses with Sean Ali (CD 'suspicious activity' creative sources 2012) and Miner's Pick with Thomas Heberer. (CD 'miner's pick' FMR records 2014)
With friends, he curates in NY the house concert series ze couch, where every month artists meet to present their work.
Festival presence includes: Jazzdor Strasbourg-Berlin, Vision Festival New York, Umbrella Festival Chicago, Banlieues Bleues Paris, Strade del Cinema Aosta, météo Mulhouse, Jazzcologne, JIGG Lisbon, Taktlos Zurich, Jazz à la Cité in Paris, ESCUCHA Madrid, Washington DC Jazz Festival, Pori Jazz Festival, Middelheim Antwerp, Grenzenlos Köln, undead Jazzfest NYC, D'Jazz Nevers, NewAdits Klagenfurt, Font New York, Music Unlimited Wels, Vive le Jazz Cologne, GONG Aarau, Konfrontationen Nickelsdorf, Ljubljana Jazz Festival etc...
He received the following scholarships/grants: DAAD, Henry Mancini Institute, North Rhine-Westphalia composition stipend."-Pascal Niggenkemper Website (http://www.pascalniggenkemper.com/bio_english.html)
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