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Weiss, Alex (Rick Parker / Maoz / Ishenko / Ches Smith): Fighter Planes & Praying Mantis (OutNow Recordings)

NY saxophonist Alex Weiss with Rick Parker (trombone and electronics), Eyal Maoz (guitar), Dmitry Ishenko (bass), Ches Smith (drums) and Mark Hodos (birimbau) mixing aggressive approaches to improv with the stranger side of organic beauty.

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product information:

UPC: 7290011216689

Label: OutNow Recordings
Catalog ID: ONR012
Squidco Product Code: 18196

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2013
Country: Israel
Packaging: Cardstock gatefold foldover
Recorded by Aaron Nevezie in January 2012 at The Bunker Studio, Brooklyn, NY.


Alex Weiss-tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, acoustic guitar, pocket piano, voice

Eyal Maoz-electric guitar

Rick Parker-trombone

Dmitry Ishenko-electric bass, acoustic bass

Ches Smith-drums, percussion

Mark Hodos-birimbau

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track listing:

1. Whale 4:49

2. Your Last Affront 5:20

3. $ Mrdran 8:49

4. Filler 1:24

5. Control Avalanche 6:14

6. Glaciers 5:36

7. Get Carter Theme 5:37

8. Fighter Planes & Praying Mantis 5:45

9. Angel Of Death 2:20
Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
Sextet Recordings
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descriptions, reviews, &c.

"The titles Fighter Planes and Praying Mantis hints at the basic dynamics at play in Alex Weiss' music: the lounder, more aggressive side of human design comes together with the stranger side of organic beauty. [...] The musical DNA here also goes back to the mid-sixties Atlantic tradition, as if Joel Dorn had produced Last Exit. But there were no producers suggesting material. Weiss' music should sound like eclecticism, bu there something else going on here. This is the vision of someone with a broad ear, not someone looking to range over a broad swath of listeners. Jazz can absorb other genres whole, and Weiss knows it. By the end of Fighter Planes and Praying Mantis, the covers sound like a previously invisible part of jazz history suddenly reversed."-Drew Gardner, from the liner notes.

Artist Biographies:

"Born in San Diego, CA and raised in Sacramento, Ches Smith came up in a scene of punks and metal musicians who were listening to and experimenting with jazz and free improvisation. He studied philosophy at the University of Oregon before relocating to the San Francisco Bay area in 1995. After a few years of playing with obscure bands and intensive study with drummer / educator Peter Magadini, he enrolled in the graduate program at Mills College in Oakland at the suggestion of percussionist William Winant. There he studied percussion, improvisation, and composition with Winant, Fred Frith, Pauline Oliveros and Alvin Curran. One of Winant's first "assignments" for Ches was to sub in his touring gig at the time, Mr. Bungle (here he met bassist / composer Trevor Dunn who would later hire him for the second incarnation of his Trio-Convulsant). During his time at Mills, Ches co-founded two bands: Theory of Ruin (with Fudgetunnel / Nailbomb frontman Alex Newport), and Good for Cows (w/ Nels Cline Singers' Devin Hoff). He currently performs and records with Xiu Xiu, and Secret Chiefs 3. He has also performed with Ben Goldberg, Annie Gosfield, Wadada Leo Smith, John Tchicai, Fred Frith, and Trevor Dunn. In addition to Ceramic Dog, he also leads his two of his own projects, Congs for Brums and These Arches. He currently spends his time between Los Angeles, San Francisco and Brooklyn."

-Ches Smith Website (

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