New York drummer Harris Eisenstadt's new ensemble crosses the country with Chicago flutist Nicole Mitchell, NY & West Coast bassist Mark Dresser, and NY bassoonist Sara Schoenbeck, blending orchestral instruments in chamber and improvising contexts.
Catalog ID: SGL-1602-2
Squidco Product Code: 18221
Packaging: Cardstock gatefold foldover
Recorded by Darrell Harvey at Studio West, San Diego, CA on November 17th, 2012.
Harris Eisenstadt-drums, composition
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1. What Is a Straw Horse, Anyways? 5:37
2. It Is Never Safe to Be 5:08
3. Dogmatic in Any Case 8:49
4. Unless All the Evidence Is In 4:38
5. Sandy 8:55
6. Especially Preposterous Assertions 6:22
7. Flabbergasted by the Unconventional 7:50
Related Categories of Interest:
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
Chicago Jazz & Improvisation
West Coast/Pacific US Jazz
sample the album:
"Toronto-born, New York based drummer Harris Eisenstadt adds a different flavor to his impressive list of active projects with this intriguing bi-coastal quartet, his fifteenth record as leader since 2001. As Harris tells it, "Golden State continues a career-long interest in writing for orchestral instruments in chamber and improvising contexts that began with Fight or Flight, continued through Ahimsa Orchestra, The All-Seeing Eye + Octets, and Woodblock Prints. But unlike those records this is a batch of short compositions rather than one or two long-form pieces over an entire record...As to the group's genesis, I was offered a short residency at CalArts fall 2012 by Leo Smith and my old mallet teacher David Johnson...I was thinking about sounds and textures that interest me, and musical personalities that interest me. Of course the combination of flute and bassoon timbres is fantastic...I'd wanted to put Sara and Nicole together in a small group for years - I'd heard them together in the Braxton 12tet and loved how they interacted. I got to know Nicole when we had orchestra pieces read on the same program in 2010-11. I've worked with Mark Dresser periodically over the last ten years. He's such a singular force and makes any group he's in sound huge. His unique vocabulary is a perfect foil for Sara and Nicole...Since Nicole had recently taken a job at UC Irvine and Mark was at UCSD, I decided it would be opportune to convene these guys...I wanted to devise a bunch of different pieces that took advantage of these musicians' great skills as improvisers and interpreters - lots of off-kilter grooves, soloistic moments, group improvisations, 1, 2, and 3 part writing, sometimes interpreted strictly, sometimes freely." Add one rehearsal, two gigs and a day in the studio, and the result is a highly rhythmic, wonderfully expressive, conversational music that takes chamber jazz further in directions suggested by Dolphy, Lateef, and the AACM:
"Out to Lunch was a major influence early on. Dolphy's ideas about time and form and harmony and melody, all these elements of music, stretched but still discernible, that's always attracted me, as well his musical spirit in general...As for Yusef Lateef, who I had the good fortune to work with in Adam Rudolph's large ensemble about ten years ago, I first fell in love with Prayer to the East then Live at Pep's - earlier Yusef records from the 50s/60s rather than later periods...The way Yusef welcomed not just orchestral instruments but also non-western instruments into a jazz group influenced me tremendously...When I refer to the AACM I'm talking about the first generation - primarily Wadada Leo Smith, Henry Threadgill and Anthony Braxton. Leo and Henry are my main sources of inspiration. As far as other influences, literature is an ongoing source of inspiration, not just for song titles, but also for ideas of narrative - linear and otherwise - that I try to bring to the music. The idea of non-programmatic narrative, abstract narrative, I find very appealing. Some of the incredible achievements in serial dramatic television of the last ten years also inspire me. And traditional music and dance of the world all influence how I want my music to be received - in its spirit, its rawness, its honesty...Not to be vainglorious, but the music I make is an offering...My hope is that this music touches people and makes them feel."
"As to the overall rhythmic feel, there are lots of mixed meters, and there are spaces for a soloist or the group or a subset of the group to break free of the composed materials...Rhythmic counterpoint is a big part of all the writing I do, no matter how small the group...No matter how non-overt it may end up sounding, I'm always exploring the African concept of ostinato - meaning non-symmetrical repeating patterns rather than symmetrical rhythms...A clave that is of African and African Diasporic lineage has different weights, a call side to the rhythm and a response side. That has always attracted me, so a lot of these pieces have these kinds of vamps. Having said that, vamps are great things to break up and expand on. When you have someone like Mark Dresser playing the bass you want to encourage all these incredible variations and new directions that he'll take vamps in - harmonically, melodically, rhythmically, texturally, all of the above. And that sort of sense of a multi-dimensional groove morphing at all times is what off kilter means, and refers to the bass lines too."
• Show Bio for Nicole Mitchell
"Nicole Mitchell (b. 1967) is a creative flutist, composer, bandleader and educator. As the founder of Black Earth Ensemble, Black Earth Strings, Ice Crystal and Sonic Projections, Mitchell has been repeatedly awarded by DownBeat Critics Poll and the Jazz Journalists Association as "Top Flutist of the Year" for the last four years (2010-2014). Mitchell's music celebrates African American culture while reaching across genres and integrating new ideas with moments in the legacy of jazz, gospel, experimentalism, pop and African percussion through albums such as Black Unstoppable (Delmark, 2007), Awakening (Delmark, 2011), and Xenogenesis Suite: A Tribute to Octavia Butler (Firehouse 12, 2008), which received commissioning support from Chamber Music America's New Jazz Works.
Mitchell formerly served as the first woman president of Chicago's Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), and has been a member since 1995. In recognition of her impact within the Chicago music and arts education communities, she was named "Chicagoan of the Year" in 2006 by the Chicago Tribune. With her ensembles, as a featured flutist and composer, Mitchell has been a highlight at festivals and art venues throughout Europe, the U.S. and Canada.
Ms. Mitchell is a recipient of the prestigious Alpert Award in the Arts (2011) and has been commissioned by Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art, the Ravinia Festival, the Chicago Jazz Festival, International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), the Chicago Sinfonietta Orchestra and Maggio Fiorentino Chamber Orchestra (Florence, Italy). In 2009, she created Honoring Grace: Michelle Obama for the Jazz Institute of Chicago. She has been a faculty member at the Vancouver Creative Music Institute, the Sherwood Flute Institute, Banff International Jazz Workshop and the University of Illinois, Chicago. Her work has been featured on National Public Radio, and in magazines including Ebony, Downbeat, JazzIz, Jazz Times, Jazz Wise, and American Legacy.
Nicole MItchell is currently a Professor of Music, teaching in "Integrated Composition, Improvisation and Technology," (ICIT) a new and expansively-minded graduate program at the University of California, Irvine. In November 2014, ICIT was approved for the unleashing of a new MA/PhD program, which will be offered starting fall 2015. Mitchell's recent composition, Flight for Freedom for Creative Flute and Orchestra, a Tribute to Harriet Tubman, premiered with the Chicago Composers' Orchestra in December 2011 and was presented again with CCO in May 2014. She was also commisisoned by Chicago Sinfonietta for Harambee: Road to Victory, for Solo Flute, Choir and Orchestra in January 2012. Her latest commission was from the French Ministry of Culture and the Royaumont Foundation in October 2014, which supported the development and French tour of Beyond Black - a collaboration with kora master Ballake Sissoko, Black Earth Ensemble and friends. Currently Mitchell is preparing her next commission supported by the French American Jazz Exchange, entitled Moments of Fatherhood, featuring Black Earth Ensemble and the Parisian chamber group L'Ensemble Laborintus, to premiere at the Sons d'hiver Jazz Festival in late January 2015.
Among the first class of Doris Duke Artists (2012), Mitchell works to raise respect and integrity for the improvised flute, to contribute her innovative voice to the jazz legacy, and to continue the bold and exciting directions that the AACM has charted for decades. With contemporary ensembles of varying instrumentation and size (from solo to orchestra), Mitchell's mission is to celebrate the power of endless possibility by "creating visionary worlds through music that bridge the familiar and the unknown." She is endorsed by Powell flutes."-Nicole Mitchell Website (http://nicolemitchell.com/)
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• Show Bio for Sara Schoenbeck
"Sara Schoenbeck is a bassoonist who dedicates herself to expanding the sound and role of the bassoon in the worlds of classical, contemporary notated and improvised music. The Wire magazine places her in the "tiny club of bassoon pioneers" at work in contemporary music today and the New York Times has called her "riveting, mixing textural experiments with a big, confident sound."
Originally from California, Sara spent her time on the west coast freelancing in various orchestral bassoon sections such as Santa Barbara Symphony, California Symphony, Redlands, Mancini Orchestra, the Dakah Hip Hop Orchestra and touring as a member of creative music ensembles Gravitas Quartet with Wayne Horvitz, Ron Miles and Peggy Lee, Anthony Braxton's 12+1(tet) and Vinny Golia's Large Ensemble. Sara also recorded for various sound and film projects including the Matrix 2 and 3 and Spanglish.
Sara now calls Brooklyn home and performs regularly with Petr Kotek's SEM ensemble, the composers group WetInk, Wordless Music Orchestra, LPR, Anthony Braxton's Tri-Centric Orchestra, Gravitas, Harris Eisenstadt's Golden State Quartet,the Lyrica Chamber Orchestra as well as performing with many other creative and inspiring musicians in the New York scene.
She has performed at major venues and festivals throughout North America and Europe, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, the Kitchen, Iridium, Disney Hall, SXSW, New Orleans Jazz Festival, Berlin Jazz Festival, Free Music Festival in Antwerp Belgium, Biennale Musica in Venice Italy, Montreal Jazz Festival, Ottawa Jazz Festival, the Vancouver International Jazz Festival and the San Francisco Jazz Festival to name a few. Sara received her BFA from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and MFA from the California Institute of the Arts."-Sara Schoenbeck Website (http://saraschoenbeck.weebly.com/bio.html)
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• Show Bio for Mark Dresser
Mark Dresser is a Grammy nominated, internationally renowned bass player, improviser, composer, and interdisciplinary collaborator. At the core of his music is an artistic obsession and commitment to expanding the sonic, musical, and expressive possibilities of the contrabass. He has recorded over one hundred thirty CDs including three solo CDs and a DVD. From 1985 to 1994, he was a member of Anthony Braxton's Quartet, which recorded nine CDs and was the subject of Graham Locke's book Forces in Motion (Da Capo). He has also performed and recorded music of Ray Anderson, Jane Ira Bloom, Tim Berne, Anthony Davis, Dave Douglas, Osvaldo Golijov, Gerry Hemingway, Bob Ostertag, Joe Lovano, Roger Reynolds, Henry Threadgill, Dawn Upshaw, John Zorn. Dresser most recent and internationally acclaimed new music for jazz quintet, Nourishments (2013) his latest CD (Clean Feed) marks his re-immersion as a bandleader. Since 2007 he has been deeply involved in telematic music performance and education. He was awarded a 2015 Shifting Foundation Award and 2015 Doris Duke Impact Award. He is Professor of Music at University of California, San Diego.- Website (https://www.mark-dresser.com/bio)
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• Show Bio for Harris Eisenstadt
"One of only a handful of drummers equally well known for his work as a composer, Brooklyn-based Harris Eisenstadt (b. Toronto, 1975) is among the most individual and prolific musicians of his generation. His resume includes studies with some of the most respected names in jazz and improvised music, West African and Afro-Cuban drumming, and performance credits in jazz, film, theater, poetry, dance, contemporary concert music and opera.
Eisenstadt has performed all over the globe, received grants from organizations such as Meet The Composer, American Composers Forum, Canada Council for the Arts, and appeared on more than 60 recordings since 2000, including twenty as a leader. Recordings of his compositions often appear on the Songlines, Clean Feed, No Business, and 482 Music labels, and are consistently included on critics' best-of lists. Recent honors: Rising Star Percussion Percussion, Arranger, and Composer categories of the Downbeat international critics poll; Best Album, Drummer, Composer categories of the El Intruso international critics poll.
His first work for orchestra, Palimpsest, was premiered by the American Composers Orchestra, as part of the Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute at Miller Theater, Columbia University (2011). Eisenstadt's second orchestral work, Four Songs, commissioned by the Brooklyn Conservatory Community Orchestra, was premiered at the Brooklyn Museum (2013). His first string quartet, Whatever Will Happen, That Will Also Be, was premiered as part of Eisenstadt's twelve-set residency at The Stone in NYC (2015). As a writer and radio producer, he has contributed to National Public Radio and AfroPop Worldwide. Eisenstadt is also an active AfroCuban batá drummer in New York and a longtime researcher in African and diaspora vernacular traditions. He has travelled to West Africa twice (Gambia, Senegal) to research Mandinka and Wolof music, and to Cuba twice (Matanzas, Havana) to research Afro-Cuban music."-Harris Eisenstadt Website (http://www.harriseisenstadt.com/bio/)
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