An excellent introduction to the early years of Red Toucan in 2 CDs with 22 tracks from master improvisers including Peter Brotzmann, Pheeroan Aklaff, Tony Wilson, Peggy Lee, Gerry Hemingway, Dave Liebman, Kyle Bruckman, Frank Gratkowski, &c. &c.
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Label: Red Toucan
Catalog ID: RT 9325
Squidco Product Code: 18038
Format: 2 CDs
Packaging: 2 CDs in a single Jewel tray
Recorded on various dates and at different locations.
Dylan van der Schyff
James Routhier Ensemble
Michael Jefry Stevens
Laura Andel Orchestra
Jen Clare Paulson
Michael Jefry Stevens
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1. Serious 10:35
2. Prayer 6:05
3. Song for Jeanne Lee 3:24
4. Such as It Is (Live at Banlieues Blues) 3:21
5. Deep Pocket 8:06
6. Go Left Out of Shantiville 6:13
7. Border Crossings, Pt. 1 3:18
8. Stable Chaos 6:44
9. Bittersweet 6:59
10. No Comment #1 6:06
11. Polish Theatre Posters 4:22
12. C'est Ca #7 4:46
1. Money Wrench 8:29
2. Rotation 5:43
3. Shooters And Bowlers 5:00
4. Beq 5:48
5. Arrears #2 7:29
6. Signature #4 6:07
7. Signature #C 5:06
8. Entering 4:46
9. Rather Dour 6:13
10. Transit 7:46
11. Empress 8:19
12. Hommage A Debussy 2:10
Related Categories of Interest:
European Improv, Free Jazz & Related
Various Artists & Compilations
sample the album:
"amalgam(e) is proof enough that Red Toucan has been a vital addition and contributor to today's jazz scene. Originally formed to document vital Québec jazz, but later developing significant relationships with a variety of Canadian-born and international improvisers, from clarinetist François Houle to contrabassist Jöelle Léandre, Red Toucan has consistently presented cutting-edge improvised music, devoid of pretension and brimming with thoughtful, potent musicianship.
Comprising twenty-two tracks and over two hours of music, amalgam(e) is a fantastic starter course for those unfamiliar with the Red Toucan diet. Beginning at the beginning with a humorous pre-song dialogue among musicians that culminates in what could be a Red Toucan motto, "check your hang-ups at the door", Charles Pappasoff's "Serious" is both reminiscent of "Lonely Woman" and a driving beast of a tune with the ever-resourceful Pheeroan Aklaff in the engine room.
Tracks two through four take a sharp left turn in presenting some of the many wonderful sessions Red Toucan has captured with the aforementioned Houle, including recordings where the clarinetist is partnered with label-staple Léandre, as well as Marilyn Crispell. Houle's sound, crisp and clean, is rare in these times of multi-multi-instrumentalism, and it is indeed a treat to hear the clarinet in the hands of a studied master. Mostly eschewing extreme harmonics for more classically-reminiscent tonalities, the three selections manage to showcase the range of Houle's talents, including an almost klezmer-like swing in "Prayer", a rough and tumble affair with Crispell, and a free-improv setting with Léandre and Georg Graewe.
The remainder of disc one highlights a variety of group, duet, and solo settings from increasingly well known, and hopefully soon to be better-known players, with particularly nice statements from Dana Reason on piano (from border crossings), Dylan van der Schyff in fine, Bennink-link playfulness on drums playing with Paul Plimley and others (from stable chaos), and a start-stop big band piece alternating between Zorn-like hopping and Threadgill-like orchestration, with trombone, cello, violin, electric guitar, tenor sax, bass, bass clarinet, and drums (from polish theatre posters).
Disc two starts with a Peter Brötzmann blowout, acerbic as ever, but with a bit of the ridiculous, unfortunately, in the guitar of Sakari Luoma, who appears to be in full heavy-metal attack. The hoped-for Last Exit sound never quite emerges, and the piece is one of the few low points on the compilation. Tracks two and three, both featuring Gerry Hemingway in very different settings, on the other hand, are quite beautiful and return to the high level of disc one. Hemingway's duet with John Butcher (from shooters and bowlers), in particular, is beguiling as ever. A trio piece (from arrears) with Graewe, Frank Gratkowski, and the redoubtable John Lindberg on contrabass is again a moving piece of improvisation, with Lindberg spending the better part of the first four minutes on the body of his bass, thumbs and fingers, only to move to a percussive statement on the strings, followed by some inside-the-piano finessing from Graewe: A nice, evolving piece of collective improvisation.
Back to Léandre for tracks six and seven of disc two, this time in performance with Masahiko Satoh-not entirely a meeting of the minds (almost a sense of two competing aesthetics), but only in light of the other remarkable performances from the bassist throughout the rest of the compilation-and Yuji Takahashi-whose meeting with the bassist turns out to be a much more satisfying endeavor. The Laura Andel Orchestra is featured on track eight (from somnambulist) in a four-minute take on sustain-bowed cymbals, heavy on the strings, with some processed (?) white-noise accompaniment. A haunting piece, truly. In with a few Chicagoans for track nine, (from wrack) with Tim Daisy and Jeb Bishop teaming up with Kyle Bruckmann (on oboe, English horn), Kurt Johnson (bass) and Jen Clare Paulson (viola): Some early steam turning into a saunter and eventually evaporation, only to restart again.
The last two tracks are highlights from the Cactus Records label, dedicated, as the liner notes to amalagam(e) state, to "music of a more composed nature". An interesting if less then audible distinction-certainly the likes of polish theatre posters are heavily composed works. Nonetheless, two pieces from Catus records are included, the first being a welcome duet setting for Dave Liebman. The second track and the closer to amalgam(e), is "Hommage à Debussy", performed by Michael Jefry Stevens: A fitting tribute and lovely end to this spectacular two disc set."-Matthew Sumera, One Final Note
• Show Bio for Tony Wilson
"Vancouver's Coastal Jazz and Blues hails him as "unquestionably one of the most original guitar stylists on the Canadian scene". Down Beat Magazine entitles him as "...a talismanic West Coast figure." Tony Wilson has studied with many acclaimed jazz musicians including Dave Holland, John Abercrombie, Kevin Eubanks and Steve Coleman and has shared the stage with well know international artists such as William Parker, Gerry Hemingway, Han Bennink, Toby Delius, Benoit Delbecq & Eric Boeren. As a composer, he has been commissioned by Standing Wave, Joe Trio, the Little Chamber Music Society, New Orchestra Workshop and the Hard Rubber Orchestra. He has released six CDs under his own name for the Drip Audio recording label. Favourable reviews of his work have appeared in Downbeat, the Wire, Exclaim and Signal to Noise among other publications."-Pugs and Crows (http://pugsandcrows.com/about/)
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• Show Bio for Dylan van der Schyff
"Dylan van der Schyff was born in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1970. He now makes his home in Vancouver, Canada, where he lives with his wife, cellist Peggy Lee, and their two children. Van der Schyff attended the schools of music at the University of Victoria and, briefly, McGill University; and he studied military drumming while with the Band of the Ceremonial Guard in Ottawa. He received his MA from Simon Fraser University and is currently engaged in graduate research in music psychology at the University of Sheffield in the UK.
As a performer and producer, van der Schyff has appeared on close to 100 recordings spanning the genres of jazz, electro-acoustic, improvised, experimental and new music; he has performed in almost every major centre in Europe and North America including international festivals in Berlin, Lisbon, Stockholm, New York, Chicago, Montreal, Trento (Italy) and Molde (Norway); and he has collaborated in numerous interdisciplinary projects involving theatre, dance and film. A partial list of notable performance and recording collaborators includes: George Lewis, Joelle Léandre, Dave Douglas, Mark Helias, Peggy Lee, Eyvind Kang, Nicole Mitchell, Brad Turner, Tony Wilson, Wayne Horvitz, Marilyn Crispell, Torsten Muller, Robin Holcolmb, Michael Moore, Ellery Eskelin, Sylvie Courvoisier, Rob Mazurek, Talking Pictures, Ken Vandermark, Paul Rutherford, John Butcher, Tobias Delius, Louis Sclavis, Evan Parker, Mark Dresser, Fred Frith, and Gary Peacock. Van der Schyff has also performed as a sideman with Roswell Rudd, John Zorn, Butch Morris, Misha Mengelberg, Georg Graewe, Oliver Lake, Wadada Leo Smith and the Kenny Werner Sextet with Randy Brecker.
Van der Schyff has served on the music faculty at Capilano University in Vancouver, Canada, since 2009. He also served on faculty at the Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music between 2002-2005, and at the Vancouver Institute for Creative Music in 2006. Additionally, he has given seminars and workshops at the University of Indiana and at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. Van der Schyff has appeared on Austrian television and Swedish radio as well as NPR, the CBC and Radio Canada. Articles about his work as an improviser have appeared in publications such as Downbeat, Jazz Times, The Globe and Mail, The New York Times, The Village Voice, The Chicago Reader, The Wire, Coda, and MUZIK."-Capilano University (https://www.capilanou.ca/jazz-studies/bios/Dylan-van-der-Schyff/)
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• Show Bio for Marilyn Crispell
"Marilyn Crispell is a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music where she studied classical piano and composition, and has been a resident of Woodstock, New York since 1977 when she came to study and teach at the Creative Music Studio. She discovered jazz through the music of John Coltrane, Cecil Taylor and other contemporary jazz players and composers. For ten years she was a member of the Anthony Braxton Quartet and the Reggie Workman Ensemble and has been a member of the Barry Guy New Orchestra and guest with his London Jazz Composers Orchestra, as well as a member of the Henry Grimes Trio, Quartet Noir (with Urs Leimgruber, Fritz Hauser and Joelle Leandre), and Anders Jormin's Bortom Quintet. In 2005 she performed and recorded with the NOW Orchestra in Vancouver, Canada and in 2006 she was co-director of the Vancouver Creative Music Institute and a faculty member at the Banff Centre International Workshop in Jazz. In 2014 she led a three-week music residency at the Atlantic Center For the Arts, New Smyrna Beach, Florida, and in 2016 led a one-week residency at the Conservatory Manuel de Falla in Buenos Aires.
Besides working as a soloist and leader of her own groups, Crispell has performed and recorded extensively with well-known players on the American and international jazz scene. She's also performed and recorded music by contemporary composers Robert Cogan, Pozzi Escot, John Cage, Pauline Oliveros, Manfred Niehaus and Anthony Davis (including four performances of his opera "X" with the New York City Opera).
In addition to playing, she has taught improvisation workshops and given lecture/demonstrations at universities and art centers in the U.S., Europe, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and has collaborated with videographers, filmmakers, dancers and poets.
Crispell has been the recipient of three New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship grants (1988-1989, 1994-1995 and 2006-2007), a Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust composition commission (1988-1989), and a Guggenheim Fellowship (2005-2006). In 1996 she was given an Outstanding Alumni Award by the New England Conservatory, and in 2004, was cited as being one of their 100 most outstanding alumni of the past 100 years."-Marilyn Crispell Website (http://marilyncrispell.com/bio.htm)
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• Show Bio for Georg Graewe
"Georg Graewe began composing and performing professionally at the age of 15. He has since been leading a variety of ensembles - ranging from trio to chamber orchestra formats - which have involved some of the leading instrumentalists in contemporary music. His compositions, which include chamber music and works for full orchestra as well as scores for films, theater productions, radio drama, and video, have been performed and broadcast around the world.
Graewe has had a long-standing trio with Dutch cellist Ernst Reijseger and US-based percussionist Gerry Hemingway since 1989. He has also performed and/or recorded with Anthony Braxton, Evan Parker, Dave Douglas, Phil Minton, Roscoe Mitchell, Barry Guy, Barre Phillips, Hamid Drake, John Butcher, Robert Dick, John Butcher, Mark Dresser among others.
Over the last 10 years, he has also written three operas. Kopenhagen (based on the same-titled play by Michael Frayn) was produced by OPER KÖLN (Cologne Opera House) in 2003. His second opera, Quicksilver, (a commission by Semperoper Dresden) came out in November 2006. And his most recent opera, Barbara Strozzi oder die Avantgarde der Liebe, was staged by Theater Luzern in Switzerland in 2010 and Oper Bonn in Germany in 2011.
Since 1999, Graewe has been closely associated with CNMAT (Center for New Music and Audio Technology) at UC Berkeley. From 2002 - 2007, he taught at Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler in Berlin.
In 2010, Graewe curated a series of 27 events that presented different aspects of resonance between music, poetry, visual arts, and science as part of the European Cultural Capital RUHR 2010. A catalogue plus DVD edition documenting this project has been published on his own Random Acoustics label."-Nuscope Records (http://nuscope.org/musicians/georg-graewe/)
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• Show Bio for Peggy Lee
"Cellist, improviser, composer Peggy Lee was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario. She studied classical cello, completing a bachelors degree in performance at the University of Toronto as a student of Vladimir Orloff and Denis Brott. She furthered her studies on the cello with lessons with Martha Gerschefski in Atlanta Georgia. In the fall of 1988 Peggy began a year residency with a string quartet at the Banff Centre in Banff, Alberta. It was here that she first became interested in collaborating with artists from different mediums and in veering away from the classical path. This led to a decision to move away from the known and thus to her relocating to Vancouver, B.C. where she now makes her home.
Peggy's first forays into improvisation in Vancouver happened with dancers at the EDAM (experimental dance and music) studio at the Western Front and eventually led to her meeting and joining guitarists Ron Samworth and Tony Wilson in their respective bands; as well as becoming a member of the New Orchestra Workshop, which went on to have interesting and fruitful collaborations with Butch Morris, Wadada Leo Smith, René Lussier, Barry Guy and George Lewis.
Peggy continues to collaborate frequently with Ron and Tony and with her husband, drummer Dylan van der Schyff, as well as with many other longtime musical associates including Dave Douglas, Wayne Horvitz, Robin Holcomb, Veda Hille and Lisa Miller. She also leads or co-leads a number of musical projects: The Peggy Lee Band, Film in Music, Waxwing (with Tony Wilson and Jon Bentley) and Beautiful Tool (with Mary Margaret O'Hara).
She has also collaborated extensively in theatre and dance with companies and artists such as Ruby Slippers, Rumble Theatre, Presentation House, David Hudgins, Peter Bingham and Delia Brett.
In 2005, Peggy received the Freddie Stone Award for integrity and innovation in music and in 2010 she was awarded a Jesse Richardson Theatre Award for outstanding composition."-Peggy Lee Website (http://www.peggylee.net/about-peggy.html)
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• Show Bio for Ron Samworth
"Vancouver-based guitarist/composer Ron Samworth is a high profile presence on the Canadian scene, equally at home playing in the jazz tradition or the extended sound worlds of new and improvised music. Nominated for the 2002 National Jazz Writers Award "Best Jazz Guitarist", he leads the acclaimed quartet Talking Pictures and co-leads the 15-piece NOW Orchestra. He has appeared at all of the major jazz festivals across Canada, the Jazzfest Berlin, Chicago Jazzfest, New York's Knitting Factory, Vienna's Let's Cool One Chamber Jazz Festival, and at prestigious venues in France, Belgium, Holland and Germany. He has performed and recorded with many leading international artists including John Zorn, John Medeski, Han Bennink, Marc Ribot, Wayne Horvitz, Butch Morris, Bobby Previte, Marilyn Crispell, George Lewis, and Canadian jazz legend Claude Ranger. His inter-disciplinary work includes composition, performance and sound design for theatre, spoken word, film, and dance."-Capilano University (https://www.capilanou.ca/jazz-studies/bios/Ron-Samworth/)
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• Show Bio for Bill Clark
"On the Vancouver jazz scene, the Talking Pictures era began in the '90s, not the '30s. Trumpeter Bill Clark has been recording and performing with the ensemble of that name since its initial formation in 1993; his collaborative gait reliably pliable; his long-term dedication a hallmark of his own career as well as the ensemble itself. Clark has been intrinsic to a series of invitations involving musicians from outside Vancouver to work on specific projects with Talking Pictures, a casting call which has brought forth respondents from across the border in the United States as well as across the ocean in Europe -- such as Wayne Horvitz and Jorrit Dijkstra, respectively.
The other original members of Talking Pictures are cellist Peggy Lee, guitarist Ron Samworth, and drummer Dylan van der Schyff. Clark has also performed with another cooperative venture, the Vancouver Ensemble of Jazz Improvisation. He is a freelance composer who is particularly proud of "Pavel and the Puck," a piece originally written to be performed by a theater group on ice. Having contributed to the unusual genre of "ice theater" makes this artist distinct among other performers named Bill Clark, something a trumpet by itself cannot. Thus, this trumpeting Clark should not be confused with the one in the horn section of the Esther Phillips band, nor is he the same William Clark who played drums on many mainstream jazz records."-All Music, Eugene Chadbourne (http://www.allmusic.com/artist/bill-clark-mn0000066134)
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• Show Bio for Peter Valsamis
"Peter Valsamis is a Los Angeles-based drummer/percussionist/composer/sound designer. His unique approach to drumming synthesizes a variety of musical styles into his own unique sound. He has performed with Trance Mission, Emeline Michel, Martine St. Clair, Mitsou, Cecil Taylor, Don Preston, Walter Aziz, Dana Reason, Steve Lacy, and many others. Peter is also an accomplished composer and sound designer, working on titles such as Transformers, Star Trek, Battleship, The Price is Right, Jeopardy, and Wheel of Fortune. Peter received his M.F.A. in Electronic Music and Recording Media from Mills College."-Peter Valsamis Website (http://pvalsamis.wixsite.com/panagiotis/bio)
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• Show Bio for Mark Whitecage
"Mark Whitecage is an American jazz reedist. Whitecage played in his father's family ensemble as early as age six. In the 1980s, he played with Gunter Hampel's Galaxy Dream Band, Jeanne Lee, and Saheb Sarbib. After touring solo in Europe in 1986, he put together two bands as a leader, Liquid Time and the Glass House Ensemble. In the 1990s, and his first release with Liquid Time was chosen by Cadence Magazine as one of the year's best albums. He worked in the Improvisers Collective from 1994, and began releasing albums on CIMP in 1996 Late in the 1990s he worked with Anthony Braxton, including in performances of Braxton's opera, Trillium R. He has also played with William Parker, Perry Robinson, Joe Fonda, Dominic Duval, Joe McPhee, and Steve Swell. He is married to clarinetist Rozanne Levine; they perform together with Perry Robinson in a trio called Crystal Clarinets."-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Whitecage)
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• Show Bio for Andrew Drury
"Andrew Drury grew up near Seattle (USA) and works primarily in avant-jazz and free improvisation, with regular forays into other genres and media. He has performed in Europe and North America, made five CDs as a bandleader, and appeared on over 20 others. He is an acclaimed leader of percussion workshops.
Drury began drumming in the sixth grade band at his school on Bainbridge Island, Washington. After spending a summer digging a basement under his parents' house with a shovel and pick he bought a drum set and began taking lessons from Seattle drummer Dave Coleman, Sr. He later studied with Ed Blackwell, Bill Lowe, Bill Barron, and the writer Annie Dillard at Wesleyan University. He is a self-taught composer.
Drury performs as a soloist, collaborates with adventurous musicians from around the world, and leads several groups that play his compositions. In addition to groups that he leads and frequent encounters with improvisers from various parts of the world he plays regularly with Jason Kao Hwang, Jessica Lurie, Reuben Radding, the Rat Race Choir, the Steve Swell Trio, TOTEM>, Nate Wooley, Jack Wright, and others.
Since 2002 much of Drury's music has been characterized by an exploration of new materials and techniques, and by the use of texture as a central organizing element. He frequently performs using one drum, scraping the head with wood slivers and fingernails, manipulating drum head tension and harmonic patterns with bells, using the drum as an acoustic filter and amplifier for vibrations produced on other objects, and using the drum as a wind instrument.
Drury's wide ranging interests lead him periodically to explore other media and formats. Inspired by the work and writings of visual artist Robert Smithson, Drury performed and photographed over 20 Earth Solos-site specific drum set solos in desert, mountain, prairie, and industrial settings throughout the western US. He co-created a street theater piece that he performed in streets and political rallies in Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Mexico in 1993. In his work with choreographers (Love of the New Gun, Self-Obliteration Companion, etc.) he has created collages of field recordings and percussion samples, with occasional live mixing, percussion, or prepared piano. His music for dance has been presented at DTW, Joyce Soho, NW New Works Festival, and five cities in Romania.
Drury has led nearly 1,000 percussion workshops and trainings for music teachers and since 1989. Participants have included people of all ages, backgrounds, and physical abilities in rural and urban areas in schools, prisons, museums, Indian reservations, festivals, villages in Nicaragua and Guatemala, as well as the graduate school of the Columbia University School of Social Work. In 2005 he drummed with homeless people and battered women in ten shelters in Indiana. Following a six-month "Millennium Project" residency with the Oneida Nation in 2000 the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation identified him as "one of the most skilled and experienced community artists in America."
Drury has received 18 grants for his work from the NEA, NYSCA, NYFA, the Seattle Arts Commission, the Artist Trust, the Puffin Foundation, and others. He lives in Brooklyn, New York (USA)."-Andrew Drury Website (http://www.andrewdrury.com/bio.htm)
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• Show Bio for Eyvind Kang
"Eyvindur (Eyvind) Kang (born 23 June 1971 in Corvallis, Oregon, United States) is a composer and violist. He was raised in Canada and the United States, and has since lived and worked in countries ranging from Italy to Iceland.
A recurring theme in his solo work is the "NADE", the meaning of which Kang is not willing to disclose. Referring titles include "Theme from the first NADE", "5th NADE/Invisible Man", "Theme from the sixth NADE" (all three from the debut album 7 NADEs, 1996); "Jewel of the NADE", "Mystic NADE" (both from Theater of Mineral NADEs, 1998) and "Harbour of the NADE" (Virginal Co-ordinates, 2003). His preferred instrument is the viola.
In 2014 Kang visited Vossajazz in western Norway, for a gig with Bill Frisell's trio Beautiful Dreamers, including with drummer Rudy Royston, for the opening concert. During the concert Norwegian trumpeter Arve Henriksen joined in for a tune."-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eyvind_Kang)
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• Show Bio for Frank Gratkowski
"Frank Gratkowski, saxophone. Born in Hamburg, 1963.
Started playing the saxophone at 16 and, following a period at the Hamburg Conservatory (Hamburger Musikhochschule), moved in 1985 to study at the Cologne Conservatory of Music with Heiner Wiberny, graduating in 1990.
Further studies with Charlie Mariano, Sal Nistico and Steve Lacy.
Frank Gratkowski has been working as a soloist in various international formations (Grubenklang Orchester, Klaus Koenig Orchester, Musikfabrik NRW, Tony Oxley Celebration Orchestra, Bentje Braam, BikBentBraam, All Ears, Zeitkratzer, WDR Big band, etc.). Since 1990 he has been giving solo performances throughout Europe, Canada and USA. With his first solo program, he was a 1991 prizewinner in the Musik Kreativ contest. The release of the solo CD "Artikulationen" followed the same year and a new one "Artikulationen II" in 2002.
Since 1992 he has been working in a duo with the pianist Georg Graewe (CD "VicissEtudes"). The duo is often extended through the participation of different additional musicians, such as drummer Paul Lovens (CD "Quicksand") and bassist John Lindberg (CD "Arrears").
In 1995 he founded the "Frank Gratkowski Trio" with Dieter Manderscheid (Germany), bass, and Gerry Hemingway (USA), drums, (CDs "Gestalten" and "The Flume Factor" ). In 2000 the trio has been extended to a quartet by Dutch trombonist Wolter Wierbos (CDs "Kollaps", "Spectral Reflections", "Facio" and "Le Vent et la Gorge"). Since 2003 also appearing as a Double Quartet plus Tobias Delius, Herb Robertson, Wilbert DeJoode and Michael Vatcher. In 2005 he got the SWR Jazzprize.
In 1999 the duo with the Italian trombonist Sebastiano Tramontana has been formed and since 2001 Frank Gratkowski has been performing with a trio including Wilbert De Jode (NL) on bass and Achim Kaufmann (D) on piano (CDs "Kwast" and "Unearth"). Since 2006 he's working with the Trio Gratkowski / Brown / Winant (CDs "Wake" and "Vermilion Traces/Donaueschingen 2009"). He is also a co-leader / composer of the Multiple Joy[ce] Orchestra and got a commission to compose for the ensemble Apartment House by "November Music " (Den Bosch NL) and the "Huddersfield Comtemporary Music Fesitival" (England) in 2009. Further actual projects are Fo[u]r Alto, a saxophone ensemble dedicated to microtonal music and "Artikulationen E" a solo program for saxophone with 8 channel live electronic.
Frank Gratkowski played on nearly every German and on numerous international Jazz and contemporary music Festivals including Vancouver, Toronto, Chicago, New York, Seattle, Quebec, Les Mans, Muelhuus, Groeningen, Nickelsdorf, Barcelona, Lithuania, Warsaw, Zagreb, Prague, Bratislava, Sofia, Bucharest, Odessa and Roma, Huddersfield, London.
He has been teaching saxophone and ensembles at the Cologne, Berlin and Arnhem Conservatory of Music and is giving workshops all around the world.
Furthermore he has performed with Robert Dick, Phil Wachsmann, Radu Malfatti, Herb Robertson, Marcio Mattos, Eugenio Colombo, Peter Kowald, Ray Anderson, Michael Moore, Ken Vandermark, Greg Osby, Kenny Wheeler, Louis Sclavis, John Betsch, Jane Ira Bloom, Connie and Hannes Bauer, Xu Fengxia, James Newton, Muhal Richard Abrams, John Lindberg, Michael Formaneck, Ernst Reijseger, Fred van Hove, Theo Jörgensmann, Phil Minton, Peter Brötzmann, Mark Dresser, Mark Feldman, Hamid Drake, Michiel Braam, Han Bennink, Mal Waldron, Misha Mengelberg a.m.o."-Frank Gratkowski Website (http://gratkowski.com/biography/)
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• Show Bio for Dieter Manderscheid
"Dieter Manderscheid (born March 31, 1956 in Trier ) is a German jazz bassist.
Manderscheid studied music in Saarbrücken and Cologne from 1977 to 1984. In addition to the solo work, Manderscheid performed in various fixed formations: in the duo with Frank Gratkowski, in the quartet with Frank Gratkowski, Wolter Wierbos and Gerry Hemingway, in the quartet with Martin Blume, Johannes Bauer and Luc Houtkamp, in a duo with Thomas Heberer and the trio Village Zone with Georg Ruby and Christian Thomé and the Syntopia Quartet by Albrecht Maurer. With the James Choice Orchestra, he appeared at the MusikTriennale in Cologne in 2007.
Manderscheid has performed regularly at German and international jazz festivals ( JazzFest Berlin, Deutsches JazzFestival Frankfurt, Tampere Jazz Happening, Jazz Yatra Bombay, JazzFestival Vancouver ) and concert tours through Asia, Africa and the USA, commissioned by the Goethe-Institut. In 1990 he received the prize of the German record critics. He taught at the Musikhochschule Frankfurt am Main from 1991 to 1998 and since 1994 he has been a professor for jazz double bass at the Cologne University of Music. He also gives workshops at the Darmstadt holiday courses for new music."-Wikipedia (translated by Google) (https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dieter_Manderscheid)
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• Show Bio for Gerry Hemingway
"Gerry Hemingway has led a number of quartet and quintets since the mid 1980's. In addition he has been a member of a wide array of long standing collaborative groups including Brew with Reggie Workman and Miya Masaoka, the GRH trio with Georg Graewe and Ernst Reijseger, the WHO trio with Michel Wintsch and Bänz Oester, as well as numerous duo projects with Thomas Lehn, John Butcher, Ellery Eskelin, Marilyn Crispell, and others. Mr. Hemingway is a Guggenheim fellow and has received numerous commissions for chamber and orchestral works as well as being noted for his innovative and multifaceted work as a solo performer which began in 1974. He was a member of the Anthony Braxton Quartet between 1983 and 1994 and is also well known for his collaborations with some of the world's most outstanding improvisers and composers including Evan Parker, Cecil Taylor, Mark Dresser, Anthony Davis, Derek Bailey, Leo Smith and many others. He currently lives in Switzerland having joined the faculty of the Hochschule Luzern in 2009."-Gerry Hemingway Website (http://www.gerryhemingway.com)
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• Show Bio for Wolter Wierbos
"Wolter Wierbos (born 1 September 1957 in Holten, Overijssel) is a Dutch jazz trombonist.
Wierbos has played throughout Europe, Canada, USA and Asia. Wierbos has many awards to his name, including the Podiumprijs for Jazz and Improvised music and the most important Dutch jazz award, the VPRO/Boy Edgar Award in 1995.
Since 1979 he has played with numerous music ensembles: Cumulus (with Ab Baars and Harry de Wit), JC Tans & Rockets, Theo Loevendie Quintet, Guus Janssen Septet, Loos (Peter van Bergen), Maarten Altena Ensemble and Podiumtrio. He led his own band, Celebration of Difference, and has been involved in theater, dance, television and film projects. He has been invited to play with The Ex, Sonic Youth, Gruppo Sportivo and the Nieuw Ensemble (led by Ed Spanjaard).
He has also played with Henry Threadgill, The Berlin Contemporary Jazz Orchestra (led by Alexander von Schlippenbach), the European Big Band (led by Cecil Taylor), the John Carter Project, Mingus Big Band (Epitaph, directed by Gunther Schuller). He is currently active with Misha Mengelberg's Instant Composers Pool (Down Beat Poll winner 2002, Talent Deserving Wider Recognition), Gerry Hemingway Quintet, Franky Douglas' Sunchild, Bik Bent Braam, Albrecht Maurer Trio Works, Nocando, Carl Ludwig Hübsch's Longrun Development of the Universe, Frank Gratkowski Quartet, Available Jelly and Sean Bergin's MOB.
Wierbos also maintains a solo career. He has a running project under the name Wollo's World, where he brings together different artistic combinations, ranging from duos with tap-dancer Marije Nie and bassist Wilbert de Joode to a quartet with Misha Mengelberg, Mats Gustafsson and Wilbert de Joode.
Wolter Wierbos can be heard on more than 100 CDs and LPs. He has released two solo CDs: X Caliber (ICP 032, 1995), "a round-trip tour of his horn, from buzzing mute mutations, grizzly blurts and purring multiphonics to radiant melodies", and Wierbos (DATA 824), a reissue of his 1982 solo LP with an additional track."-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolter_Wierbos)
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• Show Bio for John Butcher
"John Butcher's work ranges through improvisation, his own compositions, multitracked pieces and explorations with feedback and extreme acoustics.Originally a physicist, he left academia in '82, and has since collaborated with hundreds of musicians - Derek Bailey, John Tilbury, John Stevens, The EX, Akio Suzuki, Gerry Hemingway, Polwechsel, Gino Robair, Rhodri Davies, Okkyung Lee, John Edwards, Toshi Nakamura, Paul Lovens, Eddie Prevost, Mark Sanders, Christian Marclay, Otomo Yoshihide, Phil Minton, and Andy Moor - to name a few.
He is well known as a solo performer who attempts to engage with the uniqueness of place. Resonant Spaces is a collection of site-specific performances collected during a tour of unusual locations in Scotland and the Orkney Islands.His first solo album, Thirteen Friendly Numbers, includes compositions for multitracked saxophones, whilst later solo CDs focus on live performance, composition, amplification and saxophone-controlled feedback.
HCMF has twice commissioned him to compose for his own large ensembles. Other commissions include for Elision (Australia), the Rova (USA) & Quasar (Canada) Saxophone Quartets, reconstructed Futurist Intonarumori (USA), "Tarab Cuts" (based on pre-WWII Arabic recordings, and shortlisted for the 2014 British Composer's Award) and "Good Liquor .." for the London Sinfonietta. In 2011 he received a Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award for Artists.
Recent groupings include The Apophonics with Robair and Edwards, Anemone with Peter Evans, Plume with Tony Buck & Magda Mayas and a trio with Okkyung Lee & Mark Sanders.Butcher values playing in occasional encounters - ranging from large groups such as Butch Morris' London Skyscraper and the EX Orkestra, to duo concerts with David Toop, Kevin Drumm, Claudia Binder, Paal Nilssen-Love, Thomas Lehn, Fred Frith, Keiji Haino, Ute Kangeisser, Matthew Shipp and Yuji Takahashi."-John Butcher Website (http://www.johnbutcher.org.uk/Biog.html)
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• Show Bio for John Hollenbeck
"John Hollenbeck is a composer of music uncategorizable beyond the fact of being always identifiably his. A conceptualist able to translate the traditions of jazz and new music into a fresh, eclectic, forward-looking language of his own invention, intellectually rewarding yet ever accessibly vibrant. A drummer and percussionist possessed of a playful versatility and a virtuosic wit. Most of all, a musical thinker - whether putting pen to paper or conjuring spontaneous sound - allergic to repetition, forever seeking to surprise himself and his audiences. [...]
Hollenbeck received degrees in percussion and jazz composition from the Eastman School of Music before moving to New York City in the early 1990s. He was profoundly shaped by the mentorship of two hugely influential artists: trombonist/arranger/composer Bob Brookmeyer and composer/choreographer Meredith Monk. His relationship with Brookmeyer reached back to the age of 14, when he attended the SUNY Binghamton Summer Jazz Workshop, and continued at Eastman, through NEA-funded composition study, and finally on the bandstand with Brookmeyer's New Art Orchestra and in the studio with Brookmeyer and trumpet great Kenny Wheeler. For Monk, Hollenbeck composed and performed the percussion scores for five of her works: "Magic Frequencies," "Mercy," "The Impermanence Project," "Songs of Ascension" and "On Behalf of Nature."
Hollenbeck's awards and honors include four Grammy nominations; the 2012 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, the 2010 ASCAP Jazz Vanguard Award and a 2007 Guggenheim Fellowship; winning the Jazz Composers Alliance Composition Contest in 1995 and 2002; Meet the Composer's Grants in 1995 and 2001; and a Rising Star Arranger win in the 2012 and 2013 DownBeat Critics' Polls as well as in 2011 for the JHLE as Rising Star Big Band. John was a professor of Jazz Drums and Improvisation at the Jazz Institute Berlin from 2005-2016 and in 2015 joined the faculty of McGill University's Schulich School of Music."-John Hollenbeck Website (http://johnhollenbeck.com/about/biography/)
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• Show Bio for John Lindberg
"John Lindberg commenced his full-time professional career at age sixteen, allowing for total immersion into his work as a performer/composer, subsequently being mentored by the late great bassist David Izenzon.
The first public performances of his ensemble compositions began in 1975, and in 1980 he recorded his first album focused on his original music, a collection of works for solo double bass, Comin' & Goin'.
Over the last forty-one years he has traveled the globe performing thousands of concerts of creative music, in thirty-six countries on five continents. He has released myriad albums - over one hundred - that spotlight his original compositions for a variety of jazz ensembles, and feature his singularly identifiable bass playing.
His extended works for chamber ensembles combined with improvising artists have been widely commissioned, including works for The Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, New York Chamber Ensemble, and Neues Kolner Streichquartett. His catalogue contains over one hundred and fifty published works.
He is renowned as an ensemble leader, a collaborator in special duet settings, a solo double bass performer, and as co-founder of the String Trio of New York with Billy Bang and James Emery. He has worked with a plethora of luminary creative artists, including: Albert Mangelsdorff, Ed Thigpen, Eric Watson, Louis Sclavis, Human Arts Ensemble, Frank Lowe, Wadada Leo Smith, Susie Ibarra, Karl Berger, Anthony Braxton, Andrew Cyrille, Dave Douglas, John Carter, Henry Threadgill, Jack DeJohnette, Regina Carter, Jimmy Lyons, Sunny Murray, Roswell Rudd, Mary Redhouse, Pablo Calogero, Joe LaBarbera, Wendell Harrison, and Kevin Norton.
His work as a producer of numerous recordings, and of powerful cross-genre projects - such as JazzHopRevolution and BLOB - is well established, as is his ongoing work as an educator with a distinctly unique message.
Awards and fellowships in support of his work include those from New Music USA, National Endowment for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, Chamber Music America, ASCAP, Arts International, Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Cary Charitable Trust, New York State Council on the Arts, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, Meet The Composer, and a Diploma de Honor from Gobernacion Cordillera, Chile.
Of late, John's disparate extra-musical activities - which include a stint as a community rescue squad ambulance driver, serving as general contractor for a cabin built with carpenter friends in South Dakota, and being engaged as an observational naturalist - have significantly informed his work as a composer and musician.
Released in September, 2016, on Clean Feed Records, are two new albums:John Lindberg BC3, Born in an Urban Ruin and John Lindberg Raptor Trio, Western Edges. Other recent recordings that feature his compositions include the duet with Wadada Leo Smith, Celestial Weather, the duet with cellist Anil Eraslan, Juggling Kukla (released as a limited edition of 300 vinyl LPs), and John Lindberg's TriPolar, [a]live at Roulette, NYC."-John Lindberg Website (http://www.johnlindberg.com/biography.php)
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• Show Bio for Kyle Bruckmann
"Composer/performer Kyle Bruckmann's work extends from a Western classical foundation into genre-bending gray areas encompassing free jazz, electronic music and post-punk rock. A busy and varied performance schedule and appearances on more than 60 recordings have led to his recognition as "an excellent composer, striking the right balance between form and freedom" (Signal to Noise), "a modern day renaissance musician" (Dusted) and "a seasoned improviser with impressive extended technique and peculiar artistic flair" (All Music Guide).
Shortly after moving to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2003, he joined forces with acclaimed new music collective sfSound and with Quinteto Latino (a woodwind quintet specializing in Latin American composers). He is now also a member of the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, Eco Ensemble, and Splinter Reeds. He has worked with the San Francisco Symphony and most of the area's regional orchestras remaining active in an international community of improvisers and sound artists. Current local improvising working groups include Addleds, Shudder, and mchtnchts.
From 1996 until his westward relocation, he was a fixture in Chicago's experimental music underground, with frequent collaborators Jason Ajemian, Jim Baker, Jeb Bishop, Olivia Block, Guillermo Gregorio, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Robbie Hunsinger, Bob Marsh, Weasel Walter, and Michael Zerang. Long-term affiliations include the electro-acoustic duo EKG, the "rock" monstrosity Lozenge, and the Creative Music quintet Wrack (recipient of a 2012 Chamber Music America New Jazz Works award).
Bruckmann earned undergraduate degrees in music and psychology at Rice University in Houston, studying oboe with Robert Atherholt, serving as music director of campus radio station KTRU, and achieving academic distinction as a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He completed his Masters degree in 1996 at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where he studied oboe performance with Harry Sargous and contemporary improvisation with Ed Sarath."-Kyle Bruckmann Website (http://www.kylebruckmann.com/about/biography/)
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• Show Bio for Tim Daisy
"Tim Daisy (percussion) has been an active member of Chicago' s creative music scene since moving there in 1997. He has performed, composed, recorded, and toured with many of the city's celebrated musicians and ensembles, including the Engines, KLANG, the Rempis Percussion Quartet, the Resonance Ensemble, and the Vandermark 5. In addition, Tim maintains an active composing schedule, writing for his own bands (such as Vox Arcana and Group 4-34) as well as contributing music to a number of collaborative projects- including chamber groups, jazz ensembles, dance, and film. He has had the fortunate experience to perform and record with many great improvisers both from around the world, including: Fred Anderson, Jim Baker, Jeb Bishop, Magnus Broo, Xavier Charles, James Falzone, Erik Friedlander, Per-Ake Homlander, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Nate McBride, Joe McPhee, Dave Rempis, Steve Swell, Mikolaj Trzaska, Havard Wiik, Waclaw Zimpel, and Michael Zerang. Besides a regular concert schedule in Chicago, Tim has toured throughout North America and Europe, and has performed at numerous international music festivals."-Ken Vandermark Website (http://kenvandermark.com/2013/10/made-to-break-biography/)
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• Show Bio for Jeb Bishop
"Jeb Bishop was born in Raleigh, North Carolina during the Cuban missile crisis. He began playing the trombone at the age of 10, under the tutelage of Cora Grasser. Other influential teachers during junior high and high school included Jeanne Nelson, Eric Carlson, Richard Fecteau, Greg Cox, and James Cozart.
He majored in classical trombone performance at Northwestern University from 1980-82, studying with Frank Crisafulli. Deciding he did not want to pursue a career as an orchestral musician, he returned to Raleigh in 1982 and took up engineering studies at NC State University. Raleigh's developing underground rock scene attracted him, and from 1982-84 he played bass guitar in rock bands in the Raleigh area.
At the same time, he developed an interest in philosophy, eventually majoring in the subject, and spent 1984-85 studying philosophy at the Higher Institute of Philosophy of the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium.
Returing to Raleigh in 1985, he spent the next few years working at menial jobs and playing guitar, bass, cheap keyboards, drums, etc., in rock bands including and/or, the Angels of Epistemology, Egg, and Metal Pitcher.
In 1989 he left Raleigh to pursue graduate studies in philosophy, first at the University of Arizona, then at Loyola University of Chicago (where he was awarded the Crown Fellowship in the Humanities). During 1991-92 he returned to Europe, spending the summer of 1991 studying German at the Goethe-Institut Iserlohn (now closed), and then pursuing independent studies in philosophy at the French-language division of the University of Louvain.
Returning to Chicago in 1992, he completed his M.A. at Loyola in 1993. By this time he had already begun to make connections with improvising musicians in Chicago, having joined the Flying Luttenbachers as bassist (later adding trombone) in late 1992, and playing guitar occasionally in a quartet with Weasel Walter, Ken Vandermark, and Kevin Drumm. Other bands during this period included the Unheard Music Quartet (with Vandermark, Mike Hagedorn on trombone, and Otto Huber on drums) and the Rev Trio (with Walter and saxophonist Joe Vajarsky). Bishop played electric bass in both these bands.
In late 1995, Bishop joined the Vandermark 5 as one of its founding members, and remained with the band through the end of 2004. During this period he also became associated with many other groups, including the Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet, School Days, Ken Vandermark's Territory Band, and his own Jeb Bishop Trio, and became a very frequent participant in ad hoc and free-improvised concerts in Chicago. Bishop performed in the inaugural concerts of two of the longest-running free-music concert series in Chicago: the Myopic Books weekly concerts (originally at Czar Bar; with Rev Trio) and the Empty Bottle Wednesday night concert series (with a quartet of Terri Kapsalis, Kevin Drumm, and Jim O'Rourke). He curated the monthly Chicago Improvisers Group concerts at the Green Mill from 1999-2002, and co-curated the weekly Eight Million Heroes concert series at Sylvie's in 2005-6.
Bishop has made dozens of recordings with many different groups, has toured North America and Europe many times, and maintains a busy performing schedule."-Jeb Bishop Website (http://www.jebbishop.com/jebbio.html)
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• Show Bio for Michael Vatcher
"California native Michael Vatcher, now residing in Amsterdam, quickly progressed from hitting household furniture to taking vibraphone and snare drum lessons as a child. In California, he played with reedist Michael Moore, with whom Vatcher has had a long musical relationship, John Handy, and Terry Gibbs. After spending a year in New York City, Vatcher moved to Holland in 1981.
Since arriving in Holland, Vatcher has played with such groups as the Tristan Honsinger Sextet, the Martin Altena Ensemble, John Zorn, The Ex, Roof (with Phil Minton, Tom Cora, and Luc Ex), and Van Dyke Parks. Vatcher is also a regular accompanist with the School for New Dance Development in Amsterdam, and has an ongoing musical relationship with dancers Katie Duck and Eileen Standley."-All About Jazz (https://musicians.allaboutjazz.com/michaelvatcher)
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